By Carl Holcomb
Hardy County invaded Doddridge County and emerged with two state tournament tickets as Moorefield ousted the Lady Bulldogs in four sets and East Hardy swept Trinity Christian in three sets in the Region II semifinals in West Union last Saturday.
The Yellow Jackettes defeated Doddridge County 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 25-12 and East Hardy dispatched the Lady Warriors 25-8, 25-4, 25-13.
These victories earned a state berth and setup an All-Hardy County Region II Championship rematch for the fourth straight season.[private]
“We’re very excited to return to Charleston and returning with a very young team. This team has worked very hard to get where they are. Defense was the key. Our serves weren’t going. Girls never stopped playing,” Moorefield Coach Morgan Hill-See remarked.
Doddridge County came out swinging as Corrinnna Fullmer launched the ball just outside the back line after a serve by Moorefield’s Alyssa Vetter, then her next attack was met with a carry before landing two kills, 3-1.
The Lady Bulldogs served out, but the same happened for Moorefield.
Moorefield’s Hanna Carlson made a block and it was saved initially by Doddridge County’s Abby Lynch only it never cleared the net.
Moorefield’s Rebekah Markwood’s jump serve was swallowed up by the net, but a point was earned moments later on a kill by Carlson, 5-4.
Carlson’s serve didn’t clear the net, then an attack by the Lady Bulldogs bit outside the line.
A pair of kills by Fullmer put Doddridge County ahead 11-6, then Moorefield responded with a kill by Vetter.
An attack by the Yellow Jackettes went out, then Lynch punched an ace.
Moorefield’s Anna Riggleman launched an attack which was deflected back into the net, then Vetter made a spike off a set by Crites.
After an error both ways, Crites served up two aces and Riggleman notched a point on an attack.
The Lady Bulldogs hit out, then Rinker tied the set at 18-all with a block.
Crites served after a timeout with the ball returned into the net and followed with an ace.
Riggleman made an attack and it was deflected out, then Abi Jo Nicholson made a spike for Doddridge County, 21-19.
Doddridge County made some mistakes down the stretch on serves by Riggleman and attacks by Markwood before Vetter had a dig returned out by the Lady Bulldogs to give Moorefield a 25-20 win.
The Yellow Jackettes fell behind in the second set 10-6, despite a couple of blocks by Rinker and Carlson plus an ace by Rinker.
Riggleman and Carlson made kills, while Doddridge County struggled with aim allowing Moorefield to climb back to tie the set at 13-all.
There were a plethora of errors as attacks by Markwood and Riggleman struggled to be fielded.
Carlson landed two aces to build a 20-19 lead and another serve was returned into the net.
Riggleman had an attack sent back over the line, then Rinker made a block tap for a kill.
Moorefield’s Sydney Hardy made a dig and Rinker’s block finished the set, 25-20.
The Yellow Jackettes took a 5-0 lead in the third set with Carlson and Markwood earning points on attacks, Rinker blocked two volleys and Vetter served an ace.
Doddridge County responded with kills by Fullmer and Brooklyn Hinzman.
Rinker blocked Fullmer for an 11-7 lead, then Fullmer made a push attack point.
The Lady Bulldogs picked up points on kills by Hinzman and Fullmer plus two aces from Lynch enabled a lead change to 14-12.
Moorefield tied the set on attacks by Markwood and Carlson which weren’t returned.
Hinzman notched two more kills and a couple of errors helped develop a 19-14 edge.
Raine Fritz landed a pair of aces for a 22-17 advantage for Doddridge County.
Hinzman had two attacks go out, then Jasmine Ball made a kill.
Riggleman had an attack returned into the net, then a dig by Crites off an attack by Ball ricocheted out.
Fullmer closed the third set with a spike as Doddridge County won 25-20.
Moorefield took a 2-0 lead in the fourth set as an attack by Carlson needed four hits to be corralled, then Crites made a dig save on a volley by Fullmer and Markwood notched a point.
Rinker blocked a shot out, then Hinzman made a kill.
Doddridge County had several volleys land in the net, then Fullmer garnered a kill.
Hardy made a dig and an attack by Markwood was returned into the net, 7-3.
Riggleman created a point and Crites served up an ace.
Rinker blocked a hit by Ball and Nicholson launched the ball out twice, 15-6.
Doddridge County struggled to find consistency on attacks.
Rinker played well at the net to deter attacks and Markwood served a couple of aces down the stretch.
The match ended on a hit into the net by the Lady Bulldogs giving Moorefield a state tournament berth with the team jumping for joy, 25-12.
East Hardy took the floor next against Trinity Christian for the other Region II semifinal match.
East Hardy’s Brooke Miller opened the initial set with a kill which was answered by the same from Rachel Rosen for the Lady Warriors.
After an attack went out for the Lady Cougars, Lexi Strawderman assisted Abby Wilson on two kills sandwiching an ace by Kenna Wicks.
Wilson blocked an attack by Rosen, then Rosen’s attempt at a block deflected out.
Wilson surrounded two spikes around a kill by Emma Baker as East Hardy built a 9-2 lead before a timeout.
Miller received a pass from Julia Hahn and the volley was blocked out, then Wilson smashed the ball.
Hahn served three aces and Wilson launched spikes thrice for an 18-3 advantage.
Miller created a couple of points on attacks down the stretch and Jessica Smith added a point.
Trinity Christian earned a point off a kill by Emma Chase, but the ensuing serve landed in the net to close the set, 24-8.
Wilson made a kill to start the second set for the Lady Cougars and Miller delivered an ace.
A couple East Hardy errors and an ace from Lady Warriors’ Morgan Mullens plus a block by Rosen provided a 4-2 lead change.
Wilson scored on a volley landing on the back line, then Kenna Wicks created 21 service points in a row including ten aces for the Lady Cougars with a finishing touch of a kill by Miller for a 25-4 win.
Wilson made seven spikes during an 11-0 run to begin the third set against Trinity Christian.
The Lady Warriors managed to get some points off a few errant volleys plus four kills by Rosen and two aces by Regan Baker to cut the deficit to 17-10.
Wilson made a pair of kills and Wicks added an ace for a 23-11 advantage.
Rosen made a block and a kill, then Wilson landed a spike.
East Hardy advanced to the state tournament with an ace coming from Julia Hahn for the 25-13 final.
“The keys were staying positive. The kids were cheering for each other and they made good plays,” East Hardy coach Marsha Hahn noted.
The defending state champion Lady Cougars stymied Moorefield in the Region II Championship, but both squads will represent Hardy County in the state tournament this Friday in Charleston.[/private]