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Defending Champs Dethroned

By Staff | Nov 13, 2019

Pictured is the 2019 Magnolia Blue Eagles volleyball team. The Class A champions in 2018, the Blue Eagles saw their season end in the sectional tournament.

The defeat to Paden City set up another match with Ritchie County to decide who would make it to the finals on Wednesday against Paden City. Magnolia got off top a slow start and Ritchie County took advantage by winning the first two sets 25-15 and 25-19, before the Blue Eagles took set three easily 25-13. The Rebels however came back strong in the fourth set to get a 25-20 win and end the Blue Eagles season and chances of repeating at state.

Magnolia got a strong effort from their senior all-state returnee Kendra Pilant who has been a terror to all opponents this season as she ended her high school career with 29 kills, and 15 digs while also serving up 11 points with three aces. She ended the night with five blocks. Zoey Jenkins finished her senior year with 12 points, six digs and three aces. Kayna Anderson the senior libero performed well as usual with 18 digs, while senior mate Liza Clegg ended with nine service points.

Lenieca Grimm had 39 assists and six points. Jaci Rohde added eight kills, Alyssa Kocher got eight digs.

On Tuesday Night, November 5, the Blue Eagles were hoping to keep their return trip to Charleston alive as they faced number two seed Paden City. The Wildcats had defeated the Blue Eagles twice during regular season action, so they had high expectations of winning again. Magnolia, however had other thoughts and raced out to 25-13 first set win and followed that up with a 25-22 win to take a decisive advantage.

Paden City didn’t fold however and etched out a 25-22 third set win before kicking it in high gear to take set four 25-11 and finished the match with a 15-8 win. The Wildcats advance to Wednesday’s championshipp round while the Blue Eagles had to play Richie County for the right to advance to Wednesday.

On Monday night November 4, in their match with number one Ritchie, the Blue Eagles took three straight with Pilant’s 26 kills, and four blocks being to much for the Rebels to handle. She also added five service points and six digs. Grimm with 44 assists and 13 points along with Jaci Rhode’s 13 kills did the trick. Jenkins continued to impress with seven service points and eight digs. Anderson had six points and seven digs, while Clegg pitched in four points. Kocher with four points and two digs and Holliday with a block finished the Blue Eagle stats on the night.

The defending state champion Blue Eagles cruised to a first match sectional win over St. Marys on Monday, November 4, with a straight set 25-12, 25-14, and 25-11 win at Richie County High School. Following the match with St. Marys the Eagles moved into the winners bracket to play their second match on the night against number one seed Ritchie County who they also took down in straight sets 25-22, 25-20, and 25-22. The win pitted the Blue Eagles against number two seed Paden City who also moved to Tuesday night play with their win over Tyler Consolidated in the double elimination tournament.

For Magnolia senior all-stater Kendra Pilant showed up ready to play and hammered down 21 kills, while getting 11 digs and serving up 12 points with four aces in the match with St. Marys. Lenieca Grimm turned it up a notch collecting 38 assists, and 11 points, including two aces.

Zoey Jenkins served up nine points and hit the floor for six digs in the contest, while Kayna Anderson had seven digs and six points. Liza Clegg played well with nine points and eight kills and Alyssa Kocher got seven points and four digs.

Shaela Holiday offered help with five kills in the match.