From My View For November 6
Now, with the regular season volleyball season is done everyone will start undefeated with everybody having a shot to move on to the regional and the state volleyball championships starting next week.
The Magnolia Blue Eagles last season champion in sectionals, regional and the WVSSAC Class 1-A state champions, limps into the Region 1, Section 2 sectionals with losing their regular season finale to Williamstown, 3-1.
Having lost some matches that they could have won, and won some they probably should have lost they will try to get their Mo-Jo back from a season-ago.
They will open up Monday in the Region-1, Section-2 sectional against St Marys, with the winner staying put to take on the top-seeded Ritchie County Rebels, and the loser taking on the loser of the Paden City and Tyler Consolidated match played the same night at Ritchie County High School in the double-elimination sectional.
The defending state champions lost Kennedy Parsons to graduation last season, but this year lost the services of Mady Winters who has not played a single match all season due to a knee injury. Even with the two not available to help the Eagles achieve back-to-back state championships, they still return seniors Kayna Anderson, Zoey Jenkins, Liza Clegg and Kyndra Pilant, juniors inclde Leneica Grimm and Alyssa Kocher, plus sophomore Jaci Rhode.
New additions to this years squad and completing the roster are sophomore Karalyn Lynch, and freshmen Lauren Gaiser, Shaela Holiday and Makia Litton. The Lady Eagles are returning to form and look to make some noise. With mostly upperclassman leading the charge, don’t be surprised to see them back in Charleston competing for another title.
However, you can’t forget Paden City who has already beat Magnolia twice this season, as well as beating Tyler Consolidated. This team has a chance to dethrone the Lady Eagles in sectional, regional and state championships.
They already have won not only the OVAC for the third straight year, but also the Mason-Dixon too. They have 3-seniors on the team in letter-winner Cora Anderson, as well as Isabella Beverland and Loren Little
But, they also return the dynamic duo of Hope Weber and Mallory Yeater, to go along with Maggi Still and Kelsey Michael, all four are juniors. They also have sophomores Madison Kline, Brandis Dalrymple and Hallie McDonald to help out. This years band of spikers have a pair of freshmen that have helped the Wildcats jell into a potential champion in Tanley McEldowney and McKenzie Thomas which has Head Coach Jennifer Yeater excited about their chances.
Region-1, Section-2 is one of the toughest in the state, and this season, Magnolia, Paden City, Tyler Consolidated and Ritchie County all have a shot to win the hardware.
I would love for Magnolia to bounce back and win back-to-back state championships, even without Winters playing. The way this team is playing right now, they can do it again with what they put on the floor, day-in-and-day-out.
When you have one of the best players in the state in Kyndra Pilant as well as the top setter in Leneica Grimm any thing is possible. They also have a pair of veteran coaches in Pam Chapman and Roger Clegg, as well as quality senior leaders in Lisa “Bean” Clegg, Zoey Jenkins. Kayna Anderson, Alyssa Kocher and Jaci Rhode have already been battle-tested so its very hard not to pick them to defend.
However, the Lady Wildcats also have seasoned veterans on the team in Hope Weber and Mallory Yeater to go along with knowledgeable coaches Jennifer Yeater and Chris Bachman. And, from watching these young girls play this year I believe they also has a shot to go all the way.
What I see in this team, that I really like is their comrodery for each other, and the fight to the finish, just like the Magnolia girls have, and you can’t coach that. I want to say Magnolia will move on to the regional and state, but, I also believe Paden City will too. So if I can get both of these teams into the Charleston Civic Center and play for the WVSSAC Championship, I will be one happy guy, as well as one excited sports reporter to cover that finals match-up.
However, don’t leave out the team from Tyler Consolidated and Ritchie County they are for real and have an equal shot in winning, too.