Wildcats Finish Runner-Up
In case anyone had any doubt Paden City came to play. This years volleyball team has surfaced as perhaps the best volleyball team in school history with a record 36 wins and winning more throphy’s than carter has liver pills. However when it came to crunch time it was still the Wirt County Tigers who took home the top prize.
Paden City made it’s way through the Class A tounament with championships in sectional play and regional play and on Friday they won their quarter-final round match with Greenbriar West. They followed that up with a hard fought semi-final win over favored Parkersburg Catholic. On Saturday they came out ready to play but playing Wirt County on the civic center floor is like going to New England and hoping to win a divisional football game.
The Wildcats made no excuses however and gave it their best shot. Prove of that is their reward of the top sportsmanship thropy. Paden City fell to the always tough Tiger in three sets 16-25, 17-25 and 13-25 but it wasn’t without excitement and effort.
The number one seed Tiger used a strong front line and heavy hitting to keep the Wildcats at bay and control the tempo of the match. The Tiger senior Kylie Stephens ended with 18 kills in the three sets and had ample support from teammate Emma Wyer who clobbered 16 to the floor..
“It was a great season and I’m so proud of the teams effort,” Coach Jennifer Yeater of Paden City said. “We are 36-5 and representing Paden City at the state tournament was very exciting.” “We worked very hard to get to where we we are and will continue to learn and grow. We enjoyed the experience and I look forward to see what holds for these awesome student-athletes.”
The Wildcats got 14 kills and nine assists form all-everything junior Hope Weber, while junior Mallory Yeater daughter of the coach, offered up 14 assists and added seven kills in the championship bout. Two freshmen stood out as Tanley McEldowney (who joined Weber and Yeater on the all-tournament team) combined with McKenzie Thomas to get 27 digs.
Paden City also got six points from Weber and three from McEldowney. Senior Cora Anderson playing her last match for the Cats offered up two points and seven digs, while Madi Kline ended with two points, Hallie McDonald had a kill, and Brandis Dalrymple got a kill and a block.
In the semi-final against Parkersburg Catholic the Wildcats dropped set one 21-25, but came back strong to capture the next three sets 25-22, 25-13, and 25-23. During the the first set Catholic seemed to be on their game and forced the Wildcats into several errors, but Yeater settled her team down and they stepped up to the plate in set two behind Weber’s play around the net and some great energy from the supporting cast to tie things up.
From there it was all Wildcats in set three, with Yeater and Weber doing most of the damage with one kill after another. Set four was the icing on the cake as Catholic looked out of zink and a little tired. Paden City took advantage and the result was a return trip to the floor on Saturday.
Weber pounded down 18 kills and had 19 assists, plus 13 digs and four points. Yeater, the quiet junior, who plays much bigger than her frame added a match high 20 kills as she picked apart the Crusaders defense with pin point hitting. she was all over the floor with 20 assists and 15 digs as well, while scoring eight points including an ace.
Anderson came up big as well with 10 points and 10 assists for a double-double. McEldowney and Thomas were also instrumental in the win as McEldowneyt added 22 digs, four points and two aces, while Thomas served nine points and had 16 digs. Kline served up eight points, including three aces and McDonald offered two digs and three assists. Dalrymple hit for four kills.
“It means a lot. We have a lot of people who came down to support us. We just had to focus and play our game. It’s great that we made it.” “We’ve been fighting for it all season. It’s been a fight. We’ve been working hard, blood, sweat and tears. We’ve fought so hard to get here. We just have to play our game and play like we can,” said the Cats all-state candidate Hope Weber.
“We don’t like to go five sets,” Coach Yeater said. “A lot of fight, a lot of heart and a lot of hustle. They had to dig deep.”
Parkersburg Catholic is a good team and we had to step up our game and we did it and got the job done. I am very proud of them. We had a great crowd and it helps fuel them.”
The Quarter-final opening match for the Wildcats saw them win in straight sets against a tough Greenbrier West team. Paden City took the floor for the first time ever and picked up the win 25-17, 25-16, and 27-25.
The Wildcats and Caviliars went back and forth early before Paden City took control with a service point by Kline for a 11-10 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Fron there Weber had six kills and Yeater added two to lift the Cats to a set on win.
Set two also was all Paden City despite falling behind early. With Thomas and McEldowney returning everything the Caviliars threw at them Paden City took control to go up 2-0 and eventually win in O.T. in the third set. Leading the way for coach Yeater in the match was Weber with a match high 24 kills, while piling on the stats with 14 digs, 11 asists, and two aces for points. Yeater was just as huge as she garnered 25 assists, 10 kills, 11 digs, and four aces for points. Anderson and Thomas each had 15 digs to keep the Caviliars attack away.
McEldowney scored a point,but had a match high 23 digs fro her libero position. McDonald added eight digs in support, Kline had three kills and an ace point, Dalrymple hit for a kill and added three blocks. Loren Little served three points in the win.