It has been a long season for the Lady Knight volleyball team of Tyler Consolidated High School, but one both players and coaches alike can look back on with pride. The team has overcome obstacles, made their way to a first place ranking and kept on top of the pile for the majority of the year, competing against some of the best teams in the state.
Hosting the Sectionals last week at Tyler Consolidated, the Lady Knights met up with the Red Riders of Weir in the first round handing them the loss, 25-13, 25-19, 23-25, and 25-18, and putting the Knights in the winner's bracket.
The Lady Golden Bears of Oak Glen were up next on the Knight ticket, defeating the home team to the tune of 25-23, 10-25, 25-21 and 25-13.
On Nov. 3, the Silver battled hard against regular season rivals, the Magnolia Lady Blue Eagles, taking the win in four : 21-25, 25-14, 25-20 and 25-16.
Allison Wable served up 13 points for the Silver. She also had three digs, five blocks, 31 spikes, and 19 kills. Senior Sami Jones scored 10 points, had nine digs, two blocks, 23 spikes, and 11 kills in the contest; Whitney Williams, seven points, 14 digs; Torrye Cline, four points, 11 blocks, five kills, 12 spikes; Keri Suter, two points, seven digs; 79 sets and 40 assists; Abby Atkinson, eight blocks, 13 kills and 21 spikes; Megan Carpenter, nine digs, one block, three kills and five spikes; Shay Yonaley, three digs.
The win over Magnolia put the Knights in pretty position to take the Sectional crown, with only Oak Glen to slay. In order to kick the Bears into second position though, the Consolidated team would have to beat them twice.
Unfortunately, luck was not with the home team, as they placed second overall with the loss to Oak Glen in four: 25-20, 20-25, 25-17 and 25-23.
In the scoring department, the Knights were led by Allison Wable who put 14 on the scoreboard and four aces. She also had three digs, four blocks, 22 kills and 31 spikes in the loss. Jones added 12 points, two aces, had 12 digs, one block, nine kills and 27 digs.
Cline scored nine points, one ace, 13 digs, one block, nine kills and 19 spikes; Williams, six points, 15 digs; Suter, six points, 17 digs, 102 sets, 35 assists; Carpenter, two points; Atkinson, seven blocks, 11 kills, 26 spikes; Haylea LeMasters, four digs; Shay Yonaley, two digs; Carly Fletcher, two digs.
Though they did not gain the Sectional crown, the second place Knights were still eligible to compete at the Regional competition in Ritchie County on Saturday.
At the class AA Regional, the Silver competed with the Lady Rebels of Ritchie County in the single elimination tournament, ending the Knights 2011 season with the loss, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-21.
Jones led the Silver in points with seven and two aces, six digs, two kills and eight spikes. Williams scored six points and had eight digs; Suter added five points, had nine digs, 51 sets and 20 assists; Wable, three points, four digs, two blocks, 10 kills and 25 spikes; Cline, two points, six digs, two kills, five spikes; Carpenter, one point, three blocks, five kills, nine spikes; Attkinson, one block, four kills, 14 spikes; LeMasters, one dig; Yonaley, one dig.
"When you have the number 1,2, 3 and 6th ranked teams in West Virginia playing in the same Regionals it is going to come down to who plays their best on one given night," said head coach of the Lady Knights, Richard Summers. "Ritchie played their best match when they had to."
"We had a great season and just came up a bit short. Our Region sent two very good teams and I think they will do very well down there."
Summers and assistant coach Tracy Summers and the Lady Knight volleyball team have been fortunate enough to have been supported by a large following of fans this season, including the "Black Hole" student section. The support has followed them throughout the season as well as in post season play and has been an integral part of the success the team has seen.
"I want to thank our student body," Summers said. "They were very instrumental in our getting to Regionals and I hope next year we can give them a chance to cheer for us in the elite eight."
"We lose three three great seniors and a great group of parents who have been instrumental in our success the past four years." the coach said of seniors Sami Jones, Whitney Williams and Keri Suter.
"I miss them already."
"Our girls know that nothing worth having comes easy. The girls who return will be a part of a very strong team again next year and for sure they have a lot to look forward to."