Big Reds win
PARKERSBURG – The Class AAA, Region I, Section 1 volleyball championship was claimed by Parkersburg here Wednesday evening inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as the Big Reds knocked off host Parkersburg South – 21-25, 25-13, 25-16 and 25-20.
“I think it will be us and South,” said PHS head coach Carl Harnish of which two teams will make it out of the 11 a.m. Saturday regional in Morgantown where the Big Reds face John Marshall and the Patriots take on the host Mohigans.
Both the Patriots and Big Reds breezed through their respective sectional semifinal in order to punch their tickets to the regional round of competition where two teams will advance to next week’s state tournament in Charleston. PHS got match point from Jordan Lallemont as it blitzed Brooke 25-10, 25-7 and 25-12. PSHS, which owns a 2-0 record versus Morgantown this year, ended Wheeling Park’s season with a 25-11, 25-7 and 25-20 triumph.
Against the Bruins, Courtney Ball had a match-high 11 kills. Parkersburg South received a combined 14 downed spikes from Katelyn Byrd and Brittany Boso versus the Mohigans.
The Big Reds (50-7-1) got off to a rugged start in the sectional final, making a dozen unforced errors in the opening set loss. Kayleigh Rexroad began the finals with a kill, one of her nine, and when she registered another from one of Taylor Ratliff’s two dozen assists the hosts led 3-0 and never trailed. Kasey Williams put down one of her team-high 11 kills to end the set, but momentum soon went to the side of PHS.
Samantha Shingleton’s kill for a 1-0 cushion in set two actually gave the red and white the lead for good. Alexandra Dils, who produced a match-high 21 kills, then came through with four consecutive downed spikes to make it 5-1. PHS led 16-4 after one of Mackenzie Sims’ 11 kills and finally got things going its way and made it a best-of-three affair.
After making a dozen miscues in the opening set, the red and white only had 12 combined in the next two, which included just five during the pivotal third set. With Kaitlin Farrah at the service line, PHS stormed in front 7-0 thanks in part to a Farrah ace, two more kills from Dils and a big dig from Hannah Hill on a smoked shot from Rexroad that kept a volley alive.
PSHS tried to keep close and trailed just 11-8 after two points from Katie Harper in the third set. However, a second-hit kill by PHS setter Lyxi Reeder, who had 13 points and a match-high 41 assists, ignited a 10-3 spurt and South couldn’t rally.
The Patriots, who are now 31-12-1 for head coach Becky Bennett and are looking for a second straight trip to Charleston, had an 11-8 advantage in the fourth set after Nicole Landis’ kill gave Logan Somerville a service tally. PHS, though, continued to battle and took the lead for good at 16-15 after a Ball kill. Shada Harnish, who had a finals-high 18 points and five aces, served for four straight to get PHS to match point at 24-20 and the Big Reds sealed the title on a Patriot free ball error.