By Carl Holcomb
The Lady Cougars won the Region II Section 2 Championship for the 12th consecutive season with a sweep of Moorefield in Baker last Wednesday: 25-9, 25-16, 25-11.
“The girls had a set of things to accomplish this season and the sectional title was one of those things. We had much better passing today than we typically do,” East Hardy Coach Marsha Hahn noted.
Both teams advanced to the Region II tournament in Doddridge County as the top two teams from each section move to the next round.[private]
East Hardy went up 8-2 in the first set boosted by Abby Wilson’s six spikes and attack finding the roof off a deflection plus an ace from Julia Hahn.
During that stretch, Moorefield gained points on a violation and push kill by Rebekah Markwood.
An attack by East Hardy sailed out, then Markwood’s serve was returned on pass from Emma Baker to Lexi Strawderman to Wilson with the attack redirected to the net on a dig by Kylie Crites.
Moorefield’s Hanna Carlson smashed the ball, then East Hardy’s attack by Brooke Miller was bumped by Crites to Alyssa Vetter and landed out.
Miller sandwiched two spikes around a dig by Vetter and save by Anna Riggleman.
Baker served an ace and Miller added another kill for a 14-4 advantage.
Vetter launched an attack and it was met with a dig by Miller and deflected out.
Wilson swatted the serve by Crites over the net from the back row for a point.
A volley by Riggleman went out, then Strawderman delivered an ace.
Miller had two attacks create mistakes for a 19-5 Lady Cougars lead.
The Yellow Jackettes picked up a point on an error as a dig by Sydney Hardy wasn’t returned back.
Riggleman made a dig and Miller hit the net on the next volley.
Moorefield’s Lindsey Rinker blocked shots twice as Moorefield made it 19-9.
The next block attempt on Miller went out, then Wilson made kills to round out the scoring, 25-9.
A service error started the second set for Moorefield plus a volley went out for a 2-0 setback, then Wilson smashed the ball twice around digs by Hardy and Crites to extend East Hardy’s lead to 4-0.
Wilson hit the net and Markwood created a point on an attack, then Rinker’s serve was returned into the net.
Wilson notched a block and made two spikes before an attack by Hanna Carlson went out.
Carlson garnered a kill moments later, then Miller made a dig on a serve by Markwood before finding the net, 8-5.
Wilson blocked a volley by Carlson, then Hahn served an ace.
Wilson had an attack hit the net, then Carlson served an ace.
Wilson and Miller notched points on attacks to build a 14-7 lead.
A service error and volley going out provided points for Moorefield, plus a kill by Markwood cut the deficit to 15-10.
Baker made a dig on an attack by Markwood, then an attack by Wilson was saved by Crites only to be returned out by Vetter.
Miller pushed a volley past a block by Rinker for an 18-10 lead.
Vetter scored on a push attack and block by Carlson made it 22-13.
East Hardy made a couple of errors and Riggleman notched a kill, but Hahn assisted Miller on several kills to finish the set 25-16.
East Hardy started the third set with an ace by Miller and a tap kill by Wilson.
Rinker and Markwood made saves before a block forcing a directional change for Wilson hitting out.
Vetter and Kenna Wicks traded serves into the net, then Rinker landed an ace to tie the set.
Wilson had two attacks met with digs by Riggleman and O’Neill which deflected out.
Carlson blocked a volley, then Wilson respond with a spike.
A pair of kills by Miller put East Hardy up 11-5.
East Hardy’s Jessica Smith reached over the net on an attack, then Riggleman made an attack which was saved by Hahn and Rinker returned it for a point.
Baker and Hahn made digs on attacks by Markwood, then Wilson earned two points on kills.
A serve by East Hardy’s Cara Hinkle was fielded by Markwood and hit the net for the 25-11 match final.
“Our passes weren’t happening and we couldn’t get our hitters in the air. Knowing we advance didn’t make a difference to the girls. I am very proud of this young Yellow Jacket team. Our future looks very bright,” Moorefield Coach Morgan Hill-See commented.
The Lady Cougars continued their dominance with a sweep of Trinity Christian in the Region II semifinals, while Moorefield ousted Doddridge County in four sets as Hardy County earned state berths.[/private]