Paden City Wins 4th Straight OVAC Class-A Title
By BRUCE CRAWFORD
The Paden City Wildcats were down 2-0, in the OVAC Class-A championship to the Wellsville Tigers, but never gave up and buckled down during the final three sets to claim their fourth straight OVAC title Saturday afternoon inside the Union Local High School Gymnasium.
In the first set, the ‘Cats Mallory Yeater blasted her first of 17-kills to break the Tigers serve for the sets first point. However, the set went back and forth till the Tigers won a long volley to grab a 8-7 lead, and went on to take a 14-8 advantage.
After Yeater broke the Tigers serve once again, PCHS sophomore Tanley McEldowney served up 4-straight points with the help of some nice team saves and outstanding volley play by both teams, and a Maggi Still block to close the gap, but the Tiger bunch with the help of a trio of kills and a pair of service aces went on to defeat the Lady Wildcats, 25-18 to take set-1.
Wellsville and Paden City went back and forth in the second set till the Wildcats were on top 13-12 on a Brandis Dalrymple block. The Paden City bunch went on to grab a 20-17 advantage thanks to handfull of Hope Weber kills and a McKenzie Thomas ace.
Wellsville picked up the pace and went on to knot the set up at 22-22. After a PC net infraction and a service ace, the Tigers was up 24-22 after Weber broke serve with one of her 27-kills. But, the Tigers won an exciting set point on a long volley to win set two, 25-23.
In the must win third set, Dalrymple opened with a kill to break serve, however a kill and a ace went on top, 2-1. Weber a short time later blasted 4 of the next 5-points with kills off nice set-up assists by Yeater to take a 7-4 advante of a must win third set.
After losing serve, the Wildcats Weber and Yeater each assisted each others kills, while Yeater changed it up and put in a nice dink to extend the ‘Cats advantage to 10-5. The Wildcats went on to grab a 15-11 lead and before you could whistle Dixie, the Tigers knotted the set up at 15-15 and again at 21-21. Wellsville broke serve and added a kill to grab its first lead since 18-17 before an exciting Dalrymple kill broke serve.
Yeater scored the final 3-points with the help of a Weber kill and another Dalrymple block for the set winner.
After breaking the Tigers serve, the fourth set went back-and-forth till Weber bounced one off a Tiger for a kill to give the Wildcats the lead they held the rest of the way, winning 25-23 to force a fifth set. Both Weber and Yeater blasted 5-kills in the set along with a McEldowney service ace, and the defensive play of McKenzie Thomas that handled tons of Tiger spikes.
The Wildcats raced out to a 5-1 lead and was on top 7-3 before Wellsville came storming back to knot things up at 9-9. Madi Kline gave the ‘Cats the lead that they would never relinquish with one of her 3-kills. The 3-headed giants of Weber, Yeater and Dalrymple closed-out the best of 15 winner take all fifth set with aces, including the match winner by Weber.
Weber and Yeater who have both been starters in all four OVAC titles combined for 45-kills, 38-assists 12-digs and 13-points, while Dalrymple had 10-kills and 3-blocks. McEldowney tallied 11-points with one ace and 8-digs, while Maggi Still secured 8-points with an ace and 2-blocks.
Thomas added 7-points and bumped up 20-digs and saved many-many vollies, while Madi Kline tacked on 7-points, 3-kills and rejected one at the net. Kelsey Michael added 7-digs, while Hallie McDonald had a kill, 2-assists and 2-digs.
Paden City wins in 3 sets over St Marys
The Wildcats used a match with St. Marys last week for a tune up to the OVAC Championship game with Wellsville, Ohio, on Saturday at Union Local. The Cat’s improved to 18-1 with the win by taking down the Blue Devils 25-9, 25-9, and 25-13.
Mallory Yeater and Hope Weber both first team all-state selections last season, demonstrated why as they controlled the match tempo from start to finish. Yeater used her pin point serving to keep St. Marys at bay as she served up 24 points in the contest which included six unreturnable aces. She finished the night with a triple double by getting 13 kills and 16 assists to compliment her points. Yeater also added six digs for an all-around performance.
Weber was right up there with her as she also had a triple double with 10 service points, including two aces, plus 11 kills and 16 assists. She added two digs.
Brandis Dalrymple with five points, two aces, four kills, three blocks, and one dig helped fill the stat sheet . Maggi Still had five digs, Tanley McEldowney 7 points, 1 ace, 1 kill, 2 digs, Madi Kline 1 point, 4 kills, McKenzie Thomas 6 digs, Hallie McDonald 1 kill, 1 assist, Kelsey Michael 8 points, 2 aces, 1 dig, and Alyssa Phillips 1 point, 1 dig
Paden City advances to the 1A OVAC championship game on Saturday at Union Local.
The High Flying Wildcats were set to take on Weirton Madonna at home last week in the semi-final matchup for the OVAC Championship match on Saturday. However the Blue Dons forfeited the contest on short notice and the Cats advanced to the top spot uncontested.