Big week for area net teams

With the month of October nearly over and Halloween quickly approaching, that means the prep high school volleyball season is nearing official go-time.

Area programs have been working on their rotations since the season started in early September. Soon, every squad will have the “proverbial” 0-0 record as the slate starts anew in the postseason.

Prior to that happening, fans will have their choice of two great tournaments come Saturday to attend.

In Spencer, Roane County High School will serve as the host site for the annual Little Kanawha Conference volleyball championship. Defending tournament champ Tyler Consolidated is playing in the ninth place match this year when Doddridge County invades this evening. That means a new LKC champ will be crowned.

A year ago in Kidwell, head coach Amanda Weatherwax’s Parkersburg Catholic squad finished as the LKC runner-up. PCHS enters the 4 p.m. Saturday semifinals as the No. 2 seed in the LKC West and will take on top-seeded Clay County from the LKC East.

In the other semifinal, No. 2 LKC East seed Gilmer County will square off against LKC West No. 1 seed Wirt County, which carries a 28-3-4 mark into the tournament. The Tigers of first-year head coach Miriam Beall are 3-0 versus PCHS this season. That includes a tough Tuesday night three set sweep in Elizabeth where Tiger senior Kylie Stephens finished with a match-high 26 kills.

The simultaneous championship and consolation matches will take place following the semifinals.

Competing today in placement matches around the LKC are Calhoun at Ritchie for fifth, Braxton at Williamstown for seventh, Roane at Ravenswood for 11th and Webster at St. Marys for 13th place. Although anything can happen in volleyball, it appears PCHS and the Tigers are on another collision course for LKC supremacy.

The other hot spot for volleyball on Saturday will be the all day Spookfest Invitational taking place inside Memorial Fieldhouse.

Head coach Erin Thorpe’s Big Reds will be the host school for what was supposed to be a 12-team tournament, but Spring Valley isn’t making the trip.

Thus, each of St. Albans, Woodrow Wilson and George Washington will advance to tournament play as the top three squads from each pool move on.

PHS will take on rival Parkersburg South as well as Morgantown and Musselman in Pool A. Pool B features Hedgesville, Greenbrier East, Class AA defending state champ Bridgeport and Cabell Midland, which finished state runner-up in Class AAA to Spring Valley a year ago.

Suffice it to say, there’s going to be plenty of good volleyball come Saturday.

Anyone who has followed Wirt County and Parkersburg Catholic matches during the years know anything can happen when they tangle.

Also, it’s nice to see a bevy of the state’s most talented teams converging inside Memorial Fieldhouse for what could be the best regular season tournament of the season in the Mountain State. There’s no question the team who survives until the end and wins the title will have earned it come Saturday evening.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com