Ladies bring home runner-up trophy
Three times in a row.
Three times in consecutive years the Tyler Consolidated High School Lady Knight volleyball team has swept their Sectional and Regional tournaments, traveled to Charleston, worked their way through the quarterfinal and semi-final games, only to play in the championship match and return home with the runner-up trophy. Not once, not twice . . . but three times.
“That in itself has gotta be a record,” said an official standing courtside as the first and second place teams readied themselves for their post-game awards. He was right, it is a record. The Lady Knights are the only team to collect three back-to-back-to-back runner-up trophies at the state tournament since classes A/AA were split from AAA in 1992. (When all the classes were lumped together as one, Parkersburg High School was the state runner-up three times consecutively in 1986, ’87 and ’88.)
And just for the record, the Lady Knights did not fall to just any old team off the street. They fell in three sets to a very strong and productive Williamstown team who came into the tournament with a 43-8-3 record.
“We played very well the entire tournament,” said head coach of the Lady Knights, Richard Summers. “We did not lose to a poor team. I thought we were evenly matched but just made a few mistakes and when that happens you generally lose 25-22.”
The set scores for the match had the Lady ‘Jackets winning all three sets, 25-19, 25-23, and 25-23.
In the effort, three of the four Tyler Consolidated seniors led the team dramatically: Bridget Matthews was credited with 14 kills, three blocks, six digs, and three points; Sydney Yoho had seven kills, a block, three digs, and three points; and Kerstyn Cline had 28 assists, three blocks, six digs, and two points. Abbie Fletcher had nine kills, a block, and three digs; Ariel Fish, five blocks, seven kills, and four points; Hannah Casteel, six points, one block, three digs; Madison West, six points, 15 digs; and Joralda Rice scored four points and contributed five digs.
The biggest deficit the Knights faced throughout the tournament was the 9-3 lead Williamstown took in the first set of the championship match. Some nice passes, floor play, and a double block at the net allowed the Silver to come alive in the game with four points to build on, but it was too-little-too-late to pocket the win.
In the quarter-finals, the Lady Knights handed the loss to East Hardy with wins of 25-13, 25-8, 25-7 and 25-14. In the semi-finals, the Consolidated team set the Lady Bisons down in three, 26-24, 25-18 and 25-21.
Three Lady Knights were named to the all tournament team: Bridget Matthews, Ariel Fish, and Abbie Fletcher.
Tyler Consolidated ended their season with an overall record of 42-13 record, but have already started making plans for what will and will not change next year.
“Our seniors just finished an historic run,” Coach Summers said. “It takes great leadership and these girls were simply incredible all year.
“”Work for next year has already started and everything possible will be done to help the girls make another run. Our JV team was 18-0 and our incoming eighth graders were 19-1. I think there is a lot to look forward to.”
Summers also added both his and the teams’ appreciation to the many fans who have supported them all year long. “Special thanks to our students and fans,” he said. “We had the best cheering section down there. Also thanks to the police and fire department for a great send off out of town.”