Big Reds victorious at its own volleyball tournament

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg High only lost one set all day Saturday inside Memorial Fieldhouse at the 38th annual Snowball Invitational and the Big Reds of head man Carl Harnish easily defended their title after the red and white rolled to a 25-4 and 25-13 championship match victory against Class A Magnolia.

The Blue Eagles’ lone lead in the finals came when senior Mallory Chapman registered a kill-block on Courtney Ball to open the scoring in the first set. After that, it was all Parkersburg.

Big Red setter Lyxi Reeder, who had a match-high 23 assists, was named the tournament’s MVP. Ball and fellow teammate Alexandra Dils, who had a finals match-high 17 kills, were selected to the all-tournament squad.

“I’m proud of the way they played,” said Harnish, whose squad lost middle hitter Samantha Shingleton to a shoulder injury in the final match of pool play.

“Really, I thought the other girls came through. Overall, I thought we just did a great job. Our defense and passing has improved so much.”

Six quick kills from Dils helped PHS jump ahead 8-2 early. A Kelsi Chapman downed spike from an Emily Clegg assist made it 8-3. However, the Big Reds then received 14 straight service points from Shada Harnish, including a trio of aces, and after Katelyn Bond put an attack to the floor it was 23-3. Consecutive downed spikes from Allison Schumacher put the Big Reds ahead one set to none in the best-of-three match.

An ace from Reeder gave PHS the lead for good in set two at 1-0. Despite getting two kills from Mallory Chapman along with a service point from Audrey Gibb to make it 4-3, that was as close as the Blue Eagles got the rest of the way. Kiera Standiford’s kill kept the Blue Eagles in striking distance at 12-8, but PHS was too tough and got match point when Makenzie Sims registered a kill from a Tiffany Noland bump set.

“PHS is always strong and always good,” said Magnolia head coach Pam Chapman. “We don’t really see that kind of talent. I can’t say I’m displeased (with the day) because I’m not. I’m just disappointed in how we played in the championship game.”

The Big Reds advanced to the finals by topping rival Parkersburg South 21-25, 25-14 and 25-20. Magnolia, thanks in part to 14 assists from Lauren Cline, ousted defending Class A state champion Williamstown in the other semifinal by scores 25-11 and 25-18.

Parkersburg South’s Katelyn Byrd, Magnolia’s Mallory Chapman, Ritchie County’s Kenna DeLancey and Williamstown’s Ashton Chancellor also were selected to the all-tournament team.