Putzulu Tournament Deemed Success
Some of the best sports you’ll find all year are in the off-season when teams are honing their skills for the next approaching year. That’s what took place at Tyler Consolidated High School on Saturday, June 16. Fifteen teams from around West Virginia and Ohio took part in the 11th Annual Putzulu Invitational Volleyball Tournament at Tyler Consolidated. These teams each had the opportunity to play in front of a packed house as a way to kick off the summer. The tournament honors long-time Sistersville and Tyler Consolidated teacher Linda Putzulu, who coached for many years and has always been an advocate for women’s athletics.
The tournament has shown steady growth since it originated and now is considered by many to be the best summer tournament in West Virginia. “We begin organizing this tournament in January,” said Coach Richard Summers, “and there is a ton of work that goes into making sure everything runs smoothly.”
Summers continued, “And we are blessed to have people like Mrs. Charlene Galluzzo to schedule officials and to have officials willing to give of their time to do something nice for young athletes in the summer. Our parents provide an incredible hospitality room and concession stand. We even had middle school volleyball girls show up to help, and the list is long in terms of people who make this a success.”
Both the Knights and Paden City Wildcats had a good showing in the tournament, which featured perennial volleyball powerhouses such as Hedgesville, Parkersburg High, Parkersburg South, Marietta and Meadowbrook. Tyler Consolidated had victories over Ritchie and Frontier and split with South before advancing out of the pool to play their tournament match against Parkersburg High. The Silver Knights played well, but lost with close scores of 30-29 and 28-26. Paden City failed to advance out of pool play but had a strong showing under new head Coach Jennifer Yeater. The Cats split with the Tyler B team, split with PHS, and lost to Hedgesville and Marietta.
The finals featured two of the favorites to win the AA and AAA title this year in Bridgeport and Hedgesville. Hedgesville was the eventual champion, winning in three sets with all scores being close and featuring some incredible volleyball.
According to Coach Summers “It was a great day with many stories such as Hedgesville finishing a day of play at 10 p.m. and leaving straight for Florida to play at 3 p.m. the next day. Or a girl getting injured and getting great care from Dr. Amanda Nichols and Dr. Stroble. The players and fans all singing the National Anthem when the CD didn’t play. And a surprise visit from Ms. Putzulu who got up and drove seven hours to the tournament.”