The OVAC #2-ranked Lady Pilots unseated #1 Bridgeport Oct. 12 to become the Class-1A Volleyball Champions at Steubenville High School. Earlier, River eliminated #3 ranked Clay-Battelle in the semifinals by scores of 25-15 and 25-9.
In the 25-9 and 25-23 championship match against Bridgeport, Mackenzie Wade turned in a 16-point performance that included four aces and 12 digs.
Amanda Bennett had four digs to go along with her 11 points, while Monica Curtis added six points, 23 assists ,and 10 digs. Mackenzie Marshall and Brissa Marshall each put up six points for River and both included an ace. Mackenzie had eight digs; Brissa had two.
Pictured are the OVAC?Class-AA Champions River Lady Pilots. Sitting is senior Mikayla Cieszeski; in the second row are Elizabeth Bremenkamp, Abby Caldwell, Amanda Bennett, Mackenzie Wade, Mackenzie Marshall, Brissa Marshall, Bailey Caldwell; standing are Assistant Coach Sarah Smith, Lexi Piatt, Erika Logston, Tiffany Conners, Brielle Williams, Jensen Caretti, Haylee Winkler, Monica Curtis and Head Coach Jim Turner. (Photo provided by Pam Bennett)
Jensen Caretti sent in five points, 18 kills, five blocks, and 12 digs to finish River's scoring, while Mikayla Cieszeski contributed six kills and five blocks and Tiffany Conners added one kill and five digs.
Cieszeski, River's only senior, "came up big in the final match," said Head Volleyball Coach Jim Turner. "One of her blocks came at a critical moment in the second and final set against Bridgeport."
In the semifinal round against Clay-Battelle, Mackenzie Marshall had a team-high 13 points that included five service points. She also contributed a kill and 16 digs.
Wade added 10 markers that included three aces and six digs, while Bennett scored nine markers, a block and two digs. Curtis sent in four points, an ace point, 15 assists and 14 digs.
Caretti scored four points for River and added 14 kills, five blocks, and nine digs. Cieszeski and Conners had a kill each, while Conners added a dig and Abby Caldwell had two digs.
Brielle Williams' points were from the service line to go along with six kills, while Brissa Marshall sent in one point and three digs to move River into the championship round.
"I am very proud of these young ladies," Turner added. "They stayed focused and played as a team."
The last time River qualified for the OVAC volleyball playoffs was in 1988. (See related photo on page 2B)
Other members of the championship team are Elizabeth Bremenkamp, Erika Logston, Haylee Winkler, and Bailey Caldwell.
Number two-ranked Magnolia (14-2) was upset by the number three-ranked Buckeye Trail (15-4) in the Class-3A semifinals. Magnolia won the first set, 26-24, but was edged out of sets two and three, 25-22 and 25-23.
Kelsi Chapman had a team-high 19 points that included one ace to go along with 13 digs. Audrey Gibb, Ashley Moore, and Mallory Chapman each sent in 12 points, with Chapman's including a bullet. Chapman also helped her cause with 15 kills, seven blocks, and 12 digs. Moore added 10 digs, while Gibb had eight.
Lauren Cline sent 11 points to the scoreboard that included an ace, one kill, two blocks, six digs, and 33 assists. Emily Clegg finished the Lady Eagle scoring with 10 points. She added one kill and one assist. Katie Blatt helped the Lady Eagles with three kills and one assist, while Kiera Standiford had 14 kills and three blocks. Cierra Fowler and Taylor Ludewig finished Magnolia stats with a block and eight digs, respectively.
For the runner-up slot, Magnolia fell to #4 ranked Tyler Consolidated, 25-15 and 25-16. Gibb and Moore each sent up three points, with Gibb's including an ace and five digs. Moore added four digs, while Cline scored two points with 12 assists and a block.
Mallory Chapman helped the Lady Eagles with four kills, a block, and five digs, and Blatt killed four and blocked two. Standiford had two kills and as many blocks, Abby Durig had one dig and Fowler stated four kills, six blocks, and three digs. Kelsi Chapman finished Magnolia's stats with three digs.
Shenandoah went on to defeat Buckeye Trail in the OVAC Class-3A championship match.
The Paden City Lady 'Cats fell 25-10, 25-17, and 25-19 to Bellaire St. John Oct. 12 in the Class-1A volleyball championship semifinals at Steubenville High School.
Taylor Cosper scored a team-high 20 points that included one ace, three kills, and 17 assists, while Megan Pierce added another 12 points that included two from the service line. Cosper also turned in eight kills, one block, and as many digs.
Graeson Baker and Haley Hizer each sent eight points to the scoreboard. Baker also helped her cause with four kills and two assists, while Hizer added three kills, three assists, two blocks, and a dig.
Myah Charkawi scored seven points that included an ace for Paden City. She added two digs, one kill, and one assist. Cydney Blatt hit on all stats with five points, one ace point, seven kills, one assist, and as many blocks and digs.
Abby Still had one dig and Kallie Arnett completed the Lady 'Cat stats with a kill.
In the consolation round, Trinity Christian edged out Paden City 28-23, 25-23, and 26-24. Cosper led the scoring with 16 points that included two aces. She added 24 assists. Charkawi followed in scoring with 10 points, four ace points, one assist, one kill, and one dig.
Pierce added 12 points, two kills, and an assist, while Hizer added 11 points, eight kills, and a block. Baker's 10 points included one via service. She also had eight kills, one assist, and two digs. Blatt scored nine points and added eight kills, while Madison Kelly, Still, and Arnett completed Paden City stats with one kill each.
St. John went on to capture the Class-1A championship by defeating Weirton Madonna.
Paden City's next scheduled court appearance was to have been after press time Tuesday in a tri-match against Clay-Battelle and Trinity in Cee-Bee country.
The River 200 Club will hold a Helicopter Golf Ball Drop on Oct. 19 from noon-3 p.m., at the Hannibal Locks and Dam. Rain date is Oct. 26. Closest to pin wins $1,500; furthest from pin wins $500.
Tickets are $10. There will be food and entertainment, a corn hole tournament and basket raffles.
Proceeds will benefit all River High School sports. For more information, contact Mark Romick at 740-483-1358.