The loss in the Regionals on Saturday put an end to the 2011 season for the Lady Wildcat volleyball team of Paden City, but in no way diminishes the many successes the team has achieved this year.
Among personal highlights and achievements of individual team members, the Wildcat team earned their fourth straight Mason Dixon Conference title; their second OVAC crown; and fourth straight Sectional title.
"What a ride we've had," said head coach of the Lady 'Cats, Fred King. "The efforts of our players as committed team mates has shone through all season. These are kids who put any individual differences they may have aside, and concentrated on whatever is best for the team. That's why we saw success. It was a true, total team effort."
2011 class A Sectional champion Paden City Lady Wildcats
Paden City hosted the Sectional tournament at Bob Burton Gymnasium last week, and found themselves sparked and ready when the championship match began on Nov. 2. The 'Cats faced off with Weirton Madonna, and laid them to rest in an emotionally charged three-of-five games, 27-25, 25-14 and 25-19.
The 'Cats were on their game and on fire at the serving line as freshman Graeson Baker led the team in scoring with 21 points. Baker had two kills and 10 digs in the effort as well. Lynnsie Parsons scored 15 points, had three kills, two sets, one assist, and 17 digs; Amanda Heasley added 12 points, two aces, had 16 kills and 12 digs; Dominique Craft was credited with 11 pints, 22 kills, and 17 digs; Kelsey Loy, nine points, one kill, and two digs; Logan Cosper scored nine points, had 145 good sets in the game, 36 assists and six digs; Josie Fox, seven digs; and Haley Hizer, had 11 digs.
"We were on," King said. "The kids wanted to win and made it happen. It was good to win in front of our home crowd."
At Wirt County on Saturday, the Lady Wildcats faced off with the top seeded, Wirt Lady Tigers in the class A, Region I, semi-finals. The Tigers ended Paden City's hopes early, taking the first three-of-five games, 25-22, 25-12 and 25-18.
"We battled hard," King said. "Wirt is an excellent team, we knew that going in and gave it our best against them. We played well, but they are very good."
Heasley and Baker led the team in scoring with 11 points apiece. Baker also had three digs while Heasley was credited with seven kills, two blocks and eight digs. Loy contributed 10 points, one ace in the effort, had two kills and one dig; Craft served up seven points, had eight kills, two blocks and five digs; Cosper, seven points, two digs, had 72 good sets and 16 assists; Parsons, six points, four kills, two blocks and seven digs; Fox, six digs; and Hizer, three digs.
The Lady Wildcats will graduate two important seniors from the team in the Spring, Amanda Heasley and Dominique Craft. Two players that have proven to be essential to team success this season.
"Our two seniors have been tremendous leaders," the coach said. "They've been instrumental in our success and have led by example and with experience all year. The youngsters on our team are all the better for having been part of a team that Dominque Craft and Amanda Heasley were on."
"We have several skilled younger players returning next year, and with the experience they've got under their belts this year, and the new freshmen coming in, we should be okay next year as well."
The Lady Wildcats ended the season with a 33-8 overall season record.