It honestly was a rather long weekend at the state volleyball tournament.
I say that because it's always a lot of work, but it's also well worth it.
There's nothing better than taking in the culmination of an arduous volleyball season like watching the final three state championship matches inside the Charleston Civic Center.
However, and I'm not the only sports scribe or photographer in the state to feel this way, but I guess in this new age of technology we just take too much for granted.
I suppose I only have myself to blame, thinking it probably isn't too much to ask, for expecting to have a working wireless connection.
Granted, the folks at the CCC had things running a lot more smoothly Saturday, but such wasn't the case at any point on Friday at all.
RSNsports.com, which streamed the entire tournament, would've been in a heap of trouble had it not brought its own wireless system to the event. Luckily, they didn't take things for granted.
Now, I completely understand things happen and sometimes stuff goes awry which can't be helped. But, without going into super long detail I shall suffice it to say the "problem" was known about long before the start of the state tournament. Even an ethernet connection, which worked for a while, ended up failing and was of no use.
The thing which irked me the most, though, was being told by a West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission director that in essence they weren't working and it wasn't their problem.
Anyway, for anyone who had the chance to watch the Class A state championship between Wirt County and Tyler Consolidated, all I can say is wow.
Although I didn't time each finals match, I'm pretty sure the single-A title showdown lasted longer than the Class AAA and Class AA title matches combined.
Saying it was one for the ages is indeed a gross understatement, which truly doesn't give nearly enough credit to the coaching staffs and players of the Tigers and Silver Knights.
"I think just everyone eliminating as many unforced errors as possible was the key," said Tiger head coach Janet Frazier.
The following stats are unreal when one considers Wirt lost to Tyler in five sets during the conference semifinals and had 23 service errors.
In the single-A title match, the Tigers had two service errors in 102 attempts. Mady Campbell didn't miss a serve all weekend. Cammi Ferguson, Leah Haines and Liz Adams missed just once in three matches. Miriam Smith and Gwynn Smith missed twice apiece. However, Gwynn Smith had the most attempts with 60.
It also doesn't hurt to have talented hitters and blockers.
Megan Burns had 41 kills overall, Brandy Bunch was 56 of 61 on attacks in the finals with 24 kills. Allie Bailey was 13 of 13 attacking with six kills versus Greater Beckley Christian. She also had 10 blocks, four of which were kills.
"It really did take the whole team to win," Frazier added.
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org