Favored to make another trip to the state volleyball tournament, Greater Beckley Christian head volleyball coach Tracie Fisher knew her team would get a tough match from Summers County in the opening round of Class A Region 3, Section 2 play Monday.
The teams had split two tight matches during the regular season and although sectional play was double-elimination, neither team wanted to open with a loss.
The No. 3-seeded Lady Bobcats played with the energy Fisher anticipated, but the No. 2-seeded Lady Crusaders were up to the challenge, winning in three sets (25-21, 25-19, 25-17).
“Both teams came out really focused tonight. We knew Summers County was going to come and try to knock us off,” Fisher said. “When you are as highly ranked as Greenbrier West and (Greater Beckley), everyone is gunning for you. (Summers County) always plays to the best of their ability.”
In the first set, the teams battled back and forth before Greater Beckley broke open a 17-17 tie with a 4-0 spurt sparked by blocks from Zaniya Colin and Courtney Green. Summers County would get no closer than three points the rest of the way.
“They brought it against us. Their hitters were swinging and we had a lot of challenges, but I felt like we regrouped,” Fisher said. “We knew what we have to do. Our defense won it for us tonight; we were everywhere.”
Leading set two, 13-11, Greater Beckley went to its powerful front line to pull away with a 7-1 run. Two kills each from Emma-Grace Holstein and Faith Brooks and one from Green changed the momentum.
Summers County fought back to within four points, keyed by two aces from Heaven Cales, but two aces from Brooks and a block from Green iced the set for the Lady Crusaders.
“We have four pretty dominant hitters,” Fisher said. “Both my middles and both my (outside hitters) are unstoppable when they want to be. When they are all on, we are pretty good.”
“We definitely didn’t want to start off with a loss because it effects your psyche,” Fisher continued. “We have a game plan to win every game. That is how you have to think. If it happens that we lose, we will adjust from there.”
Just like the opening set, the final set of the night was tied 17-17 when Greater Beckley ran off eight straight points to secure the match. The run included three kills from Green, two from Colin and an ace from Brooks.
“We really came together tonight and hustled, we just couldn’t seem to get over the hump,” Summers County head coach Jason Massie said. “We just couldn’t get the breaks we needed. That’s just volleyball. We would make a mistake and sometimes we would let it cost us two or three points.”
No. 1-seed Greenbrier West easily defeated No. 5-seed Montcalm in Charmco, 25-9, 25-10 and 25-6. Kenley Posten had 13 kills in the win, while Kenzie O’Dell had 10 kills. Logan Vandall led West with 13 aces.
Greenbrier West and Greater Beckley Christian will meet today at 5:30 p.m. in a winner’s bracket clash at Greenbrier West High School.
The loser’s bracket games move to Montcalm High School tonight.
Meadow Bridge, who lost earlier Monday to Summers County, 3-0, will play Montcalm. Mount View was defeated by Montcalm, 3-0, in its opening match Monday and it will play Summers County.
In Class AA Region 3, Section 2 double-elimination action at Shady Spring High School, River View defeated Bluefield, 3-0 and PikeView knocked off James Monroe, 3-1.
Shady Spring then defeated River View, 3-0 and James Monroe eliminated Bluefield, 3-0.
Shady Spring and PikeView play today in a winner’s bracket game, while James Monroe battles River View in a win-or-go-home tilt. The Shady-PikeView loser will then play the James Monroe-River View winner in another elimination game.
Class AA Region 3, Section 1 was played at Westside. No. 5-seed Wyoming East defeated No. 4 Oak Hill, 3-2, while No. 2-seed Liberty defeated No. 3-seed Westside, 3-1.
The remaining results were not available at press time.
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