The Lady Knight volleyball team of Tyler Consolidated is definitely on fire, winning all but four games during the 2012 competition season. The team of 18 girls, two coaches and a multitude of Silver Knight supporters are headed to the biggest tournament of the season, the West Virginia State Volleyball Championships on Friday, after securing the Region I championship on Saturday at home.
The Knights earned their berth at States with a hard fought battle against the Magnolia Lady Blue Eagles in the Regional championships on Saturday night at Tyler Consolidated in front of a huge crowd of supporters for both teams.
The Silver and Black took the first set in the championship game, 25-17, to put them on the short road to the overall win, but Magnolia came on strong in the second, forcing the Knights to sit up and take notice. The two teams battled their way through every serve and every point, until the Eagles took the upper hand, winning the second set 26-24, and evening the score at 1-1.
In the third set, fans on hand watched as the dogfight for every point continued on the court. With Magnolia set for a game point play, and Knight fans on the edge of their seats, the Silver stepped up and forced the scoring edge in their direction to get the 31-29 win.
Up by two sets to one, the last game of the series became all important as the two teams continued their skirmish on the court, only to have the Silver outlast their up-river rivals for the 25-17 win, finally taking the Regional championship.
The Lady Knights were led in the scoring department by junior Megan Carpenter who totaled 23 and five aces on the day. Senior Allison Wable powered herself into the headlines in the contest by slamming 23 kills over the net. Carpenter was also credited with nine kills, six blocks and four digs, while Wable totaled 12 blocks, two digs, and 10 points (two aces).
Junior Sydney Reed did her part for the team by serving 10 points, three aces, and chipping in six kills, two blocks and three digs; Shay Yonaley had nine points, 29 digs; Torrye Cline, six points, two aces, eight digs, 118 sets and 36 sets; Kerstyn Cline, four points, 10 digs; Haylea LeMasters, two points, six digs, two kills, 10 sets and three assists; Abby Atkinson, five blocks, four kills; Bridget Matthews, four blocks, seven kills; and Carly Fletcher, nine digs.
"The crowd was great!" said head coach of the Lady Knights, Richard Summers. "The student body helped pull us through and it was very nice to have so many of our former players and their families return to support the girls."
"It has been a pleasure coaching these girls. They set goals and have worked hard to reach some of them. They are a special group of young ladies."
In order to reach the championship game, the Knights had to get past the semi-final game with Weirton Madonna, which they did in three quick sets, 25-15, 25-6 and 25-17.
Reed led all Consolidated scorers in the game with 12 points, three aces, four digs and six kills; Wable put up 10 points, one ace, had 18 kills, four blocks and five digs.
Kerstyn Cline scored eight points, three aces, and nine digs; Torrye Cline, seven points, 12 digs, 73 sets and 28 assists; Carpenter, seven points, two digs, 10 kills; Yonaley, two points, 11 digs; Atkinson, two blocks; Matthews, 10 kills, three blocks and two digs; Hilary Casteel, seven digs; Fletcher, seven digs; Haylea LeMasters, 15 sets and eight assists.
Last week, the Lady Knights won the Section II title for this year by defeating the Lady Wildcats of Paden City in the championship game, 25-4, 25-6 and 25-16.
Stats for the game include Wable, seven kills, 11 blocks; Reed, five kills, two blocks, three digs; Atkinson, three kills, two blocks; Carpenter, two kills; LeMasters, two blocks; Matthews, one kill, four blocks, three digs; Yonaley, seven digs; Casteel, three digs; Kerstyn Cline, three digs; Fletcher, five digs; and Torrye Cline, four digs and 15 assists.
The next phase of competition for the Ladies in Silver will begin on court three at the Charleston Civic Center at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. The Lady Knights are scheduled to take on the Fayetteville Lady Pirates, runners-up of the Region III tournament.
The winner of this game is scheduled to play the winner of the Parkersburg Catholic/Sherman game at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Championship games for all classes will be played on center court at the Civic Center with Class AA beginning at 10 a.m. with class AAA and Class A to follow in order.
"There are now eight teams left," coach Summers said. "There are no bad teams in a state tournament. I suspect a team predicted to win will not play well and will be out earlier than expected. I hope that is not us."
"I think we will be focused."
"While we want to be competitive in Charleston, nothing can take away from what has been a great season, and the future is very bright."
And as fans of the Lady Knights may say . . . the near future looks very bright indeed . . . like a flame.