Silver Knights Finish Runner-Up
Culminating a week off hard-fought volleyball for Tyler Consolidated on Saturday at Ritchie County High School, the Silver Knights ended up playing a familiar foe for the Class A Region I Championship plaque.
Earlier in the week, the Knights and Blue Eagles met up three times in the sectionals with the Blue Eagles getting the title. Saturday, they once again bested the Silver Knights winning in three straight sets, 25-16, 26-24 and 25-22.
Both teams, however, move on to the state tournament, which starts on Friday in Charleston, with a good possibility they will tangle once more.
The Blue Eagles jumped out early in the first set Saturday, and the Knights were forced to try and play catch-up, but Magnolia’s Mady Winters and Kyndra Pilant would have no part of it as they continued to rain down kill after kill to stop any efforts the Knights put up.
Set two belonged to the Silver Knights most of the way, but Magnolia came storming back late in the set to overtake the Knights in overtime. Several service errors and mistakes hurt the Silver Knights throughout the set made it tough to stay on top near the end, and the Blue Eagles went up 2-0.
Hoping to win set three and build on momentum the Knights continued to play hard and quick in a battle of two of the state’s best. Magnolia traded points with the Knights for most of the match, but at the 18 point mark, the Blue Eagles went up 18-17 and increased it to 23-18 before the Silver Knights rallied to get within one at 23-22. Magnolia scored the next two points to claim the match and championship.
Both teams advanced to the championship match with earlier wins. Tyler got an easy three-set win over Wheeling Central, 25-10, 25-12, and 25-11. Magnolia won its semi-final match over Weirton Madonna, 25-18, 25-12, and 25-13. The semi-finals wins sent both teams to Charleston this weekend, but winning the Region championship makes the Blue Eagles a higher seed at the state event.
The Silver Knights got another good couple matches from their All-State player Josey Jones, who ended the night with on a high note when they gave her an award between sets against Central for recording her 1000th career kill. All told, on the night she had 24 kills, 22 points, 18 digs, and two blocks.
JoLee Walton had a combined 68 sets in the two matches and 25 points, with 21 coming against Central. She also had 12 digs, three kills, three aces and two blocks. Alexa Johnson was a force against Central with 20 kills, one block, and four digs. She had eight kills and four blocks against the Blue Eagles.
Emily Lancaster showed up big against Magnolia with 10 kills and two blocks; she added eight kills against Central. Cora Grimm finished her night with a total of 25 digs and five points. Peyton Kocher added 23 digs and six points, and Madison DeVaughn came in with 10 digs and 10 points.
Rounding out the stats were Regan Smith with nine kills, three blocks, three digs and five points. Victoria Hood got 10 blocks, four kills, and three digs. Allie Miller had one dig and two points.
“We had 18 hitting errors and missed serves in the championship match against Magnolia. They’re a great team, and you can’t do that against the likes of them. However we still managed to keep it close. We’ll probably see them again at Charleston; we’re going to work on some things this week, and hopefully these girls can turn it around. They are super kids who always say and do the right thing, and we’re very proud of them. For sure they will get after it,” Coach Richard Summers said.