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Greenbrier East’s Chylyn Pate named state player of year

Greenbrier East High School volleyball team member Chylyn Pate practices in the gym Wednesday in Fairlea. (Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald)

PARKERSBURG — The talent level in Class AAA was anything but lacking.

Greenbrier East’s Chylyn Pate, one of six players to earn repeat first team all-state status, was honored as captain by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

The senior setter had 262 aces with 86 kills, 690 assists and 226 digs while serving at 83.7% with an ace % of 49.8. Head coach Matt Sauvage’s Spartans finished 34-4 as Pate’s 262 aces this year and 824 for her career rank second all-time nationally.

“Her serve is what everybody looks at and rightfully so. She’s led the state in aces all four years,” said Sauvage, whose squad had a near three-week coronavirus layoff prior to the postseason and then lost for the first time in four attempts versus Woodrow Wilson in the sectional final before being eliminated in the regional by state runner-up George Washington.

“Before that we were playing lights out, probably the best I’ve ever seen a team of mine play,” Sauvage added. “I hated it for the girls. They had a chance to make a run this year.

“As good as Chylyn’s serve is, she’s a better volleyball player when it comes to setting. Her passing, the knowledge of the game and reading hitters, that side is what impresses me. There’s not a ball she can’t set. She’s tough. It’s been an absolute blast to coach her the last four years. That’s for sure.”

George Washington senior Camryn Hughes was the only member of the first team who made their third appearance. Head coach Missy Smith’s outside hitter finished with 183 kills, a .293 hitting efficiency and a 39.1 kill %. Along with 43 aces, she had 133 digs and 272 serve-receptions.

GW’s Karli Edwards was one of the repeat honorees. The senior libero had just 15 errors on 359 serve-receptions and tallied 58 aces as an 85.6% server. She also had 47 assists and led the Patriots with 234 digs.

State champion Musselman had repeat selections with middle hitter Sadie Wright and outside hitter Hannah Howard. The Applemen of head coach Shawn Martz, who finished 25-1 and captured the school’s seventh crown, watched the junior Wright hit at .344 with 185 downed spikes and a 43.3 kill %. Along with 28 aces and being an 86.3% server, she had 42 total blocks and 20 digs. A 91.6% server, Howard registered 38 aces, 264 kills, hit .264 and came up with 288 digs while posting a 38% kill effort as well as a passer rating of 2.03.

Also repeating on the first unit were Hedgesville’s Skylar Yates and Spring Mills’ Leia Harper, who holds Cardinal school records of kills in a match (28) and career kills (1,067). Harper, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter who signed with Georgia Tech, had 298 kills, hit .289 with a 43.6 kill % and also served up 32 aces (87.9%) with nine blocks.

Yates, just a junior, hit at .389 with 395 downed spikes, 27 blocks, 34 aces (89.5%) and 252 digs.

Three other seniors complete the first team — Martinsburg setter/hitter Ashleigh Wallin, Parkersburg’s Anna Umpleby and Bridgeport’s Shea Hefner, a first team Class AA honoree in 2019 who has inked with West Virginia University.

Wallin, the lone Mountain State player to earn all-region All-American honors by Under Armour, has a full ride to Robert Morris and prior to the postseason she had 41 aces, 190 assists, 106 kills with a .243 efficiency as well as 69 digs.

Like Hefner, Umpleby also led the Big Reds to the state tournament, but PHS was unable to compete. Umpleby, who will play at Alderson Broaddus, hit .249 and had 317 kills, 17 blocks, 42 aces and 177 digs.

Entering the state tournament, Hefner already was the Indians’ all-time leader in digs and downed spikes. She had 389 kills, 330 digs, 65 aces, 37 assists and five blocks.

Morgantown senior Alayna Corwin, who signed to play as a defensive specialist at Marshall University, was named captain of the second team. The Mohigan hit .259 with 253 kills, 32 aces (90.5%) and 222 digs.

Six other seniors — Greenbrier East’s Madison Boswell, Wheeling Park’s Rachel Simon, Cabell Midland’s Clara Lewis, George Washington’s Nyla Birch, Hampshire’s Renee Killough and Buckhannon-Upshur’s McKenzie Reynolds — filled spots on the second unit.

Also earning nods on the second team were Woodrow Wilson junior Elysia Salon, Bridgeport 11th-grader Violet Sickles and Morgantown freshman Issy Grushecky.

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