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Silver Knights Pen Season With Win over Liberty

By Randy Rutherford - Sports Writer | Sep 1, 2021

The 2021 Lady Knights Volleyball season got off to a good start on Thursday, when Tyler Consolidated hosted Liberty. However, for a short period of time, it appeared the season may be delayed as a power outage caused the JV match to be played with nothing more than light from the outside shining through the doors. The Knights adjusted and picked up a win in straight sets, 25-16, 25-17.

By the time the Varsity match began, the lights came on and the Knights seemed eager to take on a formidable team from Clarksburg. The Knights took little time jumping out to a lead behind the strong front line play of junior Braeden Wall, who would finish the contest with a team leading 13 kills, and the strong serving of junior Caitlyn Hayes, who finished with 19 service points. Tyler Consolidated took the first set 25-11. In the second set, the Knights defense set the tone by making big plays, which was enough to keep Liberty from making any comeback, and the Knights won 25-12.

The Knights showed no signs of letting up in the final set behind the front line play of seniors Alisa Miller and Ryley VanDyne, and defense of Landry Buchanan and Audrey Dennis, taking the third set 25-16. Miller had 6 kills, 2 blocks, while VanDyne had 5 kills and 1 block. Buchanan led the back row with 14 defensive digs, Dennis had 7 digs, and Junior Tanley McEldowney had 8 digs. Junior Setter Caitlyn Northcraft had 56 sets and 23 assists.

Coach Summers was pleased with the early season play of his Knights. “We have a bunch of girls who got a lot better during the winter. They played Club Ball and some really hit the weights on a regular basis.” As for the outlook on the season, Coach Summers said, “We have a veteran team with five seniors who have shown great leadership, as well as five talented juniors. It is a long season, and we play in a conference that has won 13 of the last 14 state titles; the one our conference didn’t win, we were runners-up. If we keep improving, this could be a special team.”

The Knights have a busy upcoming week with a trip to Philippi to play Philip Barbour and Robert C. Byrd on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they return home to host St. Marys in a JV/Varsity dual, before hitting the road on Thursday for Wahama. On Saturday they will host Wirt, Williamstown and Paden City in a varsity tri-match, with play beginning at 10:00 am. “That’s a brutal start to the season but we are ready to get going and are excited that fans can return this year,” said Summers