Calhoun netters upend Parkersburg Catholic

PARKERSBURG – Calhoun County fended off a trio of set points to avoid a decisive fifth game here Tuesday as the visiting Red Devils outlasted Parkersburg Catholic 25-23, 16-25, 25-16 and 30-28 to capture a Little Kanawha Conference volleyball victory.

Despite match-highs of 25 assists from Meredith Koerber and 16 downed spikes by Reily Sturm, the Crusaderettes dropped to 7-18 on the campaign and return to action with Gilmer County on Thursday at Williamstown.

Calhoun County, which was led by Stephanie Hall’s 17 points, Megan Barton’s 22 assists, Kayla Lamb’s six aces and Bailie Cain’s 12 kills, improved to 19-8-3. Although this match didn’t count in the LKC divisional standings, the Red Devils finished tied for second in the LKC South at 4-2, behind 6-0 Wirt County, along with fellow 4-2 squads Gilmer County and Clay County.

The visitors appeared as if they’d roll to an easy opening set win after a Savannah Rogers ace gave the Red Devils a 16-9 cushion. However, Kim Samolitis, who tied Hall with a match-high 17 service points, tallied seven straight as PCHS took a 17-16 lead. Consecutive kills by Kenzie Hicks gave Calhoun County the lead for good at 21-20 and the junior sealed set point with another one of her eight kills.

Thanks to the strong play of Sturm at the net and a kill-block by Shelby Dearth, the hosts opened up a 9-4 advantage in set two. Calhoun County still trailed 12-8 after Crusaderette Lydia Walters recorded a stuff at the net and the hosts made it a best-of-three match after back-to-back Sturm aces closed things out.

Hall tallied four straight points to open the third set and after a trio of Barton aces the Red Devils led 13-6. Rachel Tennant registered a service tally when Ellen Roedersheimer put down a kill to keep the hosts within striking distance at 13-8, but PCHS never got closer than four points in set three. Amanda Carter served up an ace to make it 24-16 and recorded set point when the Crusaderettes were called for being in the net.

The Red Devils, who play host to Roane County on Thursday, trailed 22-17 in the fourth set, but rallied to tie it at 22 when Cain smashed one to the floor on a bad PCHS pass which floated above the net. Despite getting an ace from Lamb for a 23-22 cushion, the Red Devils trailed 24-23 after a Lamb service error and a Sturm ace.

A hard hit by Hicks went unreturned by PCHS to square things at 24, but the hosts had another chance to win it after going ahead 25-24 on a Walters downed spike. It wasn’t mean to be as back-to-back kills from Hall put the Red Devils back ahead 26-25.

Parkersburg Catholic went back ahead at 27-26 after another Walters kill, but couldn’t force a fifth set. The Red Devils closed out the triumph with Hall serving for the final two points.