Area netters advance to state tournament
ELLENBORO – The machine that is the Oak Glen volleyball program was clicking on all cylinders here Saturday afternoon as the two-time defending Class AA state champion Golden Bears waltzed to the Region I crown by upending host Ritchie County – 25-16, 25-15 and 25-14.
“They are just a good team,” said Rebel head coach Melanie Allender, whose Rebels have settled for consecutive state runner-up finishes to Oak Glen.
“I’m happy that we are going and at least made it this far, especially with a young team.”
Head coach Ethel Riser’s squad has a quartet of seniors and the trio of Morgan Poling, Vanessa Hissam and Carissa Williams each played a key role on Saturday.
During Oak Glen’s 25-12, 25-12, 25-15 semifinal win versus Ravenswood, Poling had 26 points, a dozen kills and six blocks. Hissam posted a match-high 17 kills and Williams registered a match-high 26 assists. Fellow Oak Glen 12th-grader Jessica Hutton added a trio of blocks.
“They might be up there, very easily could be,” replied coach Riser when asked if this was perhaps the best Oak Glen team she’s ever had. “They keep getting better day by day.”
Ritchie County, which eliminated Fairmont Senior in the other semifinal by scores of 25-13, 25-22 and 25-16 to punch its return ticket to Charleston, was led by Kenna DeLancey’s 11 kills in the finals setback to Oak Glen. Leah Kuhn added eight kills, Becca Sullivan has 27 assists and Jessie Bryson chipped in six points, three aces, four kills and as many digs.
In the regional final, the Rebels (24-22-1) never had a lead of more than three points in any set. The opening set was even at 10 before a Madison Juszczak kill gave the Golden Bears the lead for good. Jessica Stivason’s downed spike from an Emmy Delekta assist handed Oak Glen set point.
Vanessa Tallman’s dink kill kept the Rebels close in set two as the hosts only trailed 9-6. However, an ace by sophomore Kenzie Rosenlieb helped ignite a 15-3 run as Oak Glen continued to roll.
Consecutive service points from Janessa Adams, which included an ace, helped the Rebels tie the third set at six apiece. Back-to-back downed spikes by Juszczak and Alex Arnott was followed by a huge kill-block from Poling against a Tallman spike as those three points turned the tide in favor of Oak Glen. Stivason’s 10th and final kill accounted for match point.
During Ravenswood’s final match of the campaign, Katie Buckbee had a team-high 11 kills and accounted for 15 points. Bayli Manns had six blocks and two kills in the setback while Michaela Hughes and Lauren Hoff contributed three downed spikes apiece.
Wirt County advances; Williamstown ousted
CHARLESTON – Defending Class A state champion Williamstown was eliminated from the postseason here late Saturday morning as host Charleston Catholic handed the Yellowjackets a 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 19-25 and 15-11 setback.
Wirt County, which finished runner-up to the Yellowjackets following a near 4 hour and 30 minute double-championship match sectional setback on Thursday in West Union, claimed the Region IV title by slipping past the Irish – 25-27, 25-16, 26-24 and 25-19.
The Tigers of veteran head coach Janet Frazier officially made their return to the state tournament following a year’s absence after taking care of Buffalo in the semifinals – 25-17, 25-22 and 25-18.
“I think we were still feeling the lingering effects of Thursday night,” admitted Frazier, who noted of the Irish “they were ready to play and we had our hands full. They were up on us like seven points that second game.
“It is (a relief to get back to state). We wanted to get back after what happened last year. We’re pleased about that. It’s back to work on Monday.”
In the semifinals, Gwynn Smith served for 21 points, Leah Haines and Mady Campbell combined for 20 digs while Brandy Bunch and Megan Burns had 10 kills apiece.
Against Charleston Catholic, Liz Adams put up 38 assists and Bunch dominated with 20 downed spikes. Burns, Miriam Smith and Allie Bailey combined for 28 kills as Cammi Ferguson’s 13 service points led the orange and black.
PHS, South move on
MORGANTOWN – As expected here early Saturday morning at the Class AAA, Region I, championship, both Parkersburg and Parkersburg South qualified for the state tournament which begins Friday in Charleston.
Parkersburg South outlasted the host Mohigans 25-18, 25-21, 13-25, 24-26 and 15-13 to reach the big dance for the second consecutive campaign. Senior Kayleigh Rexroad was instrumental in the triumph after collecting 24 digs, 18 kills, seven blocks, seven points and a pair of aces.
“It was rough,” said PSHS head coach Becky Bennett, whose team fell to the Big Reds in straight sets – 25-7, 25-11 and 25-17. “I am proud. I’m extremely proud. It was a mentally tough game.”
Alexandra Dils (15 kills), Mackenzie Sims (10 kills), Lyxi Reeder (24 assists) and Kaitlyn Farrah (11 points, 15 digs) led PHS against the rival Patriots.
Parkersburg cruised to an easy semifinal win versus John Marshall in straight sets as well – 25-11, 25-18, and 25-19. Shada Harnish collected 13 service points while Dils and Samantha Shingleton combined for 16 kills.
Brittany Boso led PSHS with eight kills against the Big Reds and Katelyn Byrd added a key 14 kills in the win against Morgantown.
Magnolia stay alive
KIDWELL – Host Tyler Consolidated needed four sets to knock off rival Magnolia on Saturday to claim the Class A, Region I, championship on its home court.
The Blue Eagles won the first set 25-21, but couldn’t keep the momentum going as the Silver Knights won going away 25-17, 25-13 and 25-12.
Bridget Matthews (20 kills, nine blocks), Megan Carpenter (16 kills, 10 blocks) and Sydney Reed (10 kills, six blocks) were a three-headed monster versus Magnolia. The Blue Eagles received 16 kills, 12 digs and nine blocks form Mallory Chapman. Teammate Cierra Fowler contributed a dozen downed spikes and nine blocks.
Ariel Fish registered a dozen kills and Kerstyn Cline had 23 assists during Tyler Consolidated’s 25-7, 25-11 and 25-12 domination of Madonna in the semifinal. Magnolia ended Paden City’s season in the other semifinal rolling to a 25-9, 25-17 and 25-12 victory.
Kelsi Chapman (22 points, eight aces), Bailey Estep (29 assists) and Fowler (16 kills, seven blocks) contributed heavily for the Blue Eagles against the Wildcats. PCHS got four kills apiece from Graeson Baker, Cydney Blatt and Callie Arnett. Taylor Cosper chipped in 16 assists and Megan Pierce nine points in the setback.