WVU Tech poised for RSC championship run

WVU Tech’s Carolina Bologna hits the ball during practice at Van Meter Gymnasium in Beckley Tuesday.Chris Jackson/ The Register-Herald

The regular season came to an end for WVU Tech volleyball Saturday and now the Golden Bears turn their attention to the River States Conference Volleyball Championship this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Saturday, WVU Tech celebrated Senior Day with a 3-0 win over Cincinnati Christian to finish the regular season.

“We have had our ups and downs like any team. Injuries have really taken their toll on this team for a while,” interim head coach Amber Linville said. “But, we are building back up from that. We are now focused more than we have been all year.”

The 2019 RSC Volleyball Championship bracket consists of the top four teams from the East and West Divisions. The quarterfinals start Friday at 11 a.m. with the semifinals and finals played Saturday.

The RSC Championship winner will receive automatic qualification to the NAIA Volleyball National Championship.

Brescia (Ky.) University (26-6, 15-1 RSC) is the No. 1 overall seed and the RSC regular season champion, which guarantees the Bearcats an automatic bid into the NAIA National Championship later this month.

WVU Tech (21-11, 10-6 RSC) is the No. 2-seed from East Division. The Golden Bears will play the No. 3-seed from the West Division, Indiana University Southeast (24-6, 13-3 RSC) at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

If WVU Tech can dispatch the Grenadiers, it will move on to play the winner of Brescia and Rio Grande (Ohio) in the second semifinal match Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

During the regular season, Tech dropped its matches with IU Southeast and Brescia, 3-0, but split its two meetings with Rio Grande.

“The conference this year has been a little strange and has been a little up and down,” Linville explained. “Any team that we would have to face was going to be a tough task.”

The first meeting with the Grenadiers came at a tough time for the Golden Bears.

“It was about midseason and we were dealing with some injuries, so we were struggling some,” Linville admitted. “We are looking for a bounce-back win Friday.”

Tech is now healthy and it is led by a veteran group of seniors that have seen the rigors of the RSC Championship.

“We are in good shape going into postseason play. We have five seniors that all have substantial time on the floor,” Linville said. “They have had three or four years of experience now in the conference tournament. That will really help us when it comes to nerves and such.”

Seniors Katelyn Byrd, Emily Kidd, Carolina Bologna, Konstantina Pateli and Michaella Guyoy-Polverini will look to lead the Golden Bears to the RSC Championship title and an eventual trip to the national tournament in Sioux City, Iowa in December.

Byrd leads the team in kills, while Pateli leads the Golden Bears in assists per game and Bologna lead the team in blocks.

“Our attitudes are really good and having five seniors adds motivation for us to succeed,” Linville said. “They are graduating this year, so they have to win this to get to the next level. It is a motivation for us to win for the seniors.”

The RSC Volleyball Championship final match will be Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Friday’s lineup will include an awards ceremony and the announcements for all-conference teams.

Email: rudy@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @Rusman1981

React to this story: