Spring Valley victorious at third annual Carl Harnish Snowball Invitational
Timberwolves were runner-up last season
PARKERSBURG — A late Saturday night was just fine with Spring Valley head volleyball coach Cadara Cole as the Timerberwolves topped Cabell Midland 25-13 and 25-18 to win the third annual Carl Harnish Snowball Invitational inside Memorial Fieldhouse and in the process improve to 14-0.
The Timberwolves’ defense set the tone in the finals, which is something coach Cole has come to expect, but she stressed “when we get into tight matches we can’t have the service errors.”
Despite the four service errors, last year’s tournament runner-up jumped out to quick 5-0 leads in both sets and never looked back.
“Come all the way up here to play your neighbors,” quipped CMHS head coach Julie Brumfield. “They are well versed with athletic players.
“I’m not taking anything away from them, but we were in the heat. We played two more games than they did, but it shouldn’t matter. It’s psychological. We’re neighbors and rivals. They are a good team.”
Meagan Camden started the finals with an ace and also received two of Kennedy Stanley’s seven kills during the early barrage, which ended after another ace at 5-0 when Camden had a service error.
The Knights kept within striking distance when Ryleigh Bledsoe and Clara Lewis doubled blocked Alex Darby, who had a match-high nine kills, to keep the deficit at 9-6.
Consecutive kills by Gracie Brumfield and Madison Riggio kept the Knights within three at 11-8, but SVHS took control at the net with the help of a pair of quick-set kills from setter Brooke Smith to middle hitter Katie Beth Caudill. Smith’s ace got the Wolves to set point, which Darby finished off with a smashing kill.
A Caudill dink on a quick set went down for a 1-0 lead in set two and then Grace Sullivan toed the service line and pushed it ahead to 5-0. Cabell Midland, which tallied just four service points in the opening set, had a pair of service errors in set two and quickly found itself trailing 19-10.
Stanley’s kill set up match point, but a service error kept the Knights alive at 24-18. However, Spring Valley libero Alexa Ball made a perfect bump set which Kennedy was able to pop over the net and register a kill for the final tally.
The host Big Reds of head coach Erin Thorpe, who landed Grace West on the all-tournament team, were ousted in the quarterfinals by Martinsburg — 25-19 and 25-17.
West had a team-high three downed spikes while Hannah Hewitt and Anna Umpleby had two apiece. Shelby Roberts and Maggie Sauers combined for eight assists. Hannah Adkins joined Hewitt with seven digs apiece while Janna Yost had four digs.
“We had a lot of talent here. I knew coming in without two of my starters (it would be tough). I was really proud of them,” Thorpe said. “I thought we played our first two games extremely well.
“After that we got tired and I think our age got the best of us later in pool play. Overall, I was proud of the girls. Right now, what we had on the floor we are extremely young but extremely talented. There’s a long season left. I’m not discouraged.”
Following pool play, No. 8 seed Parkersburg South eliminated No. 9 seed Parkersburg Catholic — 25-13, 25-27 and 15-9.
However, the Patriots of head coach Becky Bennett were ousted in the quarterfinals by Spring Valley in straight sets — 25-14 and 25-13.
McKayla Kemp led the Patriots with three points, three kills and two digs. Rylee Harris and Lauren Somerville combined for five assists while Cassie Fink and Jacqui Foggin registered two downed spikes apiece.
Joining West on the all-tournament team was Darby, Brumfield, Fink, Woodrow Wilson’s Bryce Knapp, Morgantown’s Abi Paczek and Parkersburg Catholic’s Jenna Boice. Selections for Martinsburg and Greenbrier East were not available.