Area netters eye state berths today

Wirt County’s Taylor Anderson spikes the ball over the block of Williamstown’s Skyler Chancellor during Thursday’s Class A sectional final at Parkersburg Catholic. Both the Tigers and Yellowjackets will play this afternoon in Elizabeth with berths to next week’s state volleyball tournament on the line. Photo by Michael Uhl.

PARKERSBURG — Today is what every volleyball team in the Mountain State shoots for — regional Saturday.

The Mid-Ohio Valley has a chance to be well represented at next week’s state tournament in Charleston as several teams are hoping to punch their ticket today with a win in the regional semifinals.

Starting at 10 a.m. inside Parkersburg’s Memorial Fieldhouse, the Class AAA, Region IV semifinals will get underway with the host Big Reds taking on senior-laden Hurricane and Ripley facing Spring Valley.

PHS head coach Erin Thorpe’s squad won the sectional, but did so without senior spiker Amayah Lauer, who was lost for the year recently with a knee injury.

“Hurricane is in our way,” said the coach, who like all teams just need to win their semifinal showdown to advance to state. “We haven’t beat them all season. If we play like we know we can then we’ll be fine Saturday.

“We’ve just got to play really tough. It’s not going to be easy at all. We’ve just got to come ready to go. They are a tough team and offensively they are extremely tough. We’ve got to be able to match them offensively at the net.”

Longtime Little Kanawha Conference rivals Williamstown and Wirt County are hoping to mix it up in the Class A, Region IV finals. However, before that can happen the Tigers (43-3-3) have to take care of Huntington St. Joe at 2 p.m. and then Williamstown (22-20-4) will need to oust Tolsia in the other semifinal, which should get underway around 3:30 p.m.

The Yellowjackets suffered a tough five-set loss to Wirt County earlier in the sectional before losing the sectional final in three sets to the orange and black on Thursday.

“I can’t complain with how they’ve played this week,” said ‘Jacket head coach Rachelle Cole. “I don’t normally, typically, worry about who we are playing unless it’s something drastic where we would have to change something. We’ll just go out and try to do our thing and hope for the best.”

What the Tigers of head coach Janet Frazier are attempting to do is reach the Class A state championship match for a third straight fall. The Tigers won the 2015 state title and finished runner-up last year to East Hardy.

“Serving and passing. If we can do that we’ll be all right,” Frazier said. “I went and watched them (St. Joe) play Ravenswood and Ravenswood beat them.

“They have some nice players. We are definitely not taking anything for granted. We are just really happy to be where we are. This time of year anything can happen.”

At 2 p.m. today in West Union, sectional champ Doddridge County will take on Moorefield while East Hardy faces Trinity in the single-A, Region II semifinals.

The only Class AA team still alive is Roane County, but the Raiders will have a tough match in the Region II semifinals at Nicholas County having to go up against Bridgeport. The other half of the bracket pits the host Grizzlies against Robert C. Byrd.

Fellow LKC programs Tyler Consolidated and Ritchie County are also one win away from the big show. The Silver Knights will play host today at noon in Kidwell to the Class A, Region I tournament. TCHS, which swept Ritchie County in the sectional final, takes on Madonna while the Rebels of head man Matt Carpenter square off against Wheeling Central.

“In tough games like in our section you usually rely on your seniors to lead and pull you through. We have no seniors and I was proud that our six juniors showed leadership and didn’t allow the young kids to lose confidence down 0-2 to Magnolia,” stated Tyler head coach Richard Summers.

“We played really well against a very good Ritchie team to win the sectional. We’ve had our ups and downs this year against a tough schedule and with luck we might be peaking at the right time. Madonna is a vastly improved team and we will have to play well to advance to state.”

Today’s W.Va.

Regional Volleyball Pairings

Class AAA, Region I, at Brooke

10 a.m. — *Morgantown vs. Brooke; *John Marshall vs. University

Class AAA, Region II, at Hedgesville

10 a.m. — *Musselman vs. Hampshire; *Jefferson vs. Hedgesville

Class AAA, Region III,

at Woodrow Wilson

10 a.m. — *George Washington vs. Greenbrier East; *Woodrow Wilson vs. St. Albans

Class AAA, Region IV,

at PHS Memorial Fieldhouse

10 a.m. — *Spring Valley vs. Ripley; *Parkersburg vs. Hurricane

Class AA, Region I, at Philip Barbour

6 p.m. — *Frankfort vs. North Marion; *Oak Glen vs. Philip Barbour

Class AA, Region II, at Nicholas County

6 p.m. — *Nicholas County vs. Robert C. Byrd; *Bridgeport vs. Roane County

Class AA, Region III, at Westside High

6 p.m. — *Independence vs. Shady Spring; *James Monroe vs. Liberty (Raleigh)

Class AA, Region IV, at Chapmanville

6 p.m. — *Winfield vs. Scott; *Chapmanville vs. Wayne

Class A, Region I,

at Tyler Consolidated

Noon — *Tyler Consolidated vs. Madonna; *Wheeling Central vs. Ritchie County

Class A, Region II,

at Doddridge County

2 p.m. — *East Hardy vs. Trinity; *Doddridge County vs. Moorefield

Class A, Region III, at Greenbrier West

2 p.m. — *Charleston Catholic vs. Greenbrier West; *Greater Beckley Christian vs. Fayetteville

Class A, Region IV, at Wirt County

2 p.m. — *Wirt County (43-3-3) vs. Huntington St. Joe

3:30 p.m. — *Tolsia vs. Williamstown (22-20-4)

* Denotes regional champion