Battling for a championship
As a team, when you have a season of constant ups, the single down that occurs sometimes not only comes at the most inopportune moment, but is far more memorable than all the successes put together. Such is the case with the Tyler Consolidated varsity volleyball team, who amassed a tremendous 45-5 record, collected four titles along the way, and played for the state volleyball championships, but fell to Williamstown (39-8-1), in the title game.
The Lady Knights faced off with the Lady Yellow Jackets at the Civic Center in Charleston on Saturday afternoon, collecting the runner-up trophy after falling to Williamstown, 25-20, 25-21 and 25-15.
Williamstown’s seven seniors matched up with Consolidated’s five seniors very well, but the Jacket’s strong defense told the story of the game.
“We and Williamstown both had great teams and on this day they played great,” said Lady Knight head coach, Richard Summers. “We played very well and just came up short. I have no regrets and our kids should be very proud.”
In the championship game, the Lady Knights were led by senior Allison Wable with seven points, one ace; Junior Sydney Reed, six points; senior Shay Yonaley, seven points, one ace; senior Torrye Cline, three points; junior Megan Carpenter, two points; senior Haylea LeMasters, one point. Torrye Cline had 56 sets in the game and recorded 11 assists. Wable had eight blocks, five digs and five kills; Abby Atkinson, was credited with two blocks, three kills; Carpenter, three blocks, two digs and two kills; Reed, one kill; Bridget Matthews, two blocks, three kills; Yonaley had 14 digs; Torrye Cline, 17 digs Hilary Casteel, eight digs; and Kerstyn Cline, had three digs.
Making the all-tournament team for the Lady Knights were Allison Wable, Torrye Cline and Shay Yonaley.
In order to get to the championship game, the Consolidated team had to go through two others, starting with Fayetteville early on Friday morning and East Hardy on Friday night.
In front of a huge Tyler County crowd, the Lady Knights made short work of the Fayetteville Lady Pirates in three quick sets, 25-6, 25-14 and 25-11.
Torrye Cline led the Silver and Black in the scoring dept. with 18 points, five aces. she had six digs in the game, 55 sets and 21 assists. Wable served 13 points, four aces, had 14 kills, one block and four digs; Yonaley scored 13 points, four aces and had 12 digs; Reed chipped in five points, one ace, two digs and one kill; Carpenter, five points, two aces, one block and three kills; Atkinson was credited with four kills; LeMasters, one block; Matthews, four kills; Hilary Casteel, three digs; Fletcher, three digs; Kerstyn Cline, two digs; and Kaitlyn Gogan, two digs.
Though it took four sets, the Lady Knights also handed the loss to the Lady Cougars of East Hardy, 25-15, 25-12, 20-25, and 25-21.
Wable led the Consolidated team, scoring 14 points, two aces. She had seven blocks, eight digs and 18 kills; Reed also scored 14 points (two aces), had four digs, one block and two kills; Yonaley, eight points, six aces, 18 digs; Kerstyn Cline, eight points, two aces, 10 digs; Torrye Cline, eight points, two aces, 10 digs, three blocks, 88 sets and 32 assists; Atkinson, four kills, two blocks; LeMasters, three assists, five kills, three digs; Matthews, 11 kills, two blocks, seven digs; CAsteel, five digs; Fletcher, 10 digs; and Gogan, three digs.
“This was a good team with a very good middle,” Summers said. “They had us on the ropes. It was great to see Abby Atkinson return from a back injury and nail the winning point.”
In Class AA, the Golden Bears of Oak Glenn defeated Ritchie County for the title and George Washington took the Class AAA title in their defeat of Musselman.
“Our team and especially our seniors wanted to leave a legacy,” coach Summers said. “They certainly did that. They won two conference titles, sectionals, regionals, and were state runners up. Not to mention a 45-5 record. That legacy will never be forgotten.”
“The future is very bright for Knights volleyball. I see no reason why they can’t compete for a title again next year. The program is very solid and we have a lot of girls who simply love to play volleyball.”
The coach said the five seniors on the team, Allison Wable, Haylea LeMasters, Abby Atkinson, Torrye Cline and Shay Yonaley will certainly be missed. “They were exemplary in every way,” he said. “Super leaders and super kids.”
“I’m as proud of our community as I am our team,” Summers continued. “The support we received this year was tremendous and we will forever be grateful.”