PARKERSBURG - Sarah Kelly's pass to setter Kendra Pemberton and the ensuing kill by Autumn Ross ended a 14-plus hour marathon late Saturday night inside Parkersburg's Memorial Fieldhouse as Spring Valley won its first Mountain State Athletic Conference championship by sweeping the host Big Reds, 25-23 and 25-22.
Spring Valley got team-highs of 10 kills from Ross and 20 assists from Pemberton as the Timberwolves improved to 45-4-3 and moved to 3-0-1 versus Parkersburg on the campaign.
"That was a big accomplishment," said SVHS head coach Joy Bailey, whose squad played without first team all-stater Kylie Perdue (ankle). "We finally finished when we needed to. Sometimes at the end we freak out at point 24. It's awesome."
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Parkersburg’s Kayla Lowers, near, and teammate Paige Warner await a serve against Spring Valley late Saturday night in the finals of the Mountain State Athletic Conference volleyball tournament.
In the opening set, Spring Valley took its largest lead at 10-5 on a Ross kill, but the Big Reds fought back behind the hitting of Imani Ward and Kayla Lowers, who had 14 and 13 kills, respectively. PHS closed the gap to one at 17-16 on a Kelly Anderson second-hit kill, but another Ross kill and consecutive red and white attack errors made it 20-16.
With the score even at 23, Spring Valley got another kill from Ross and then took the first set in the best-of-three match via a Brittany Ritter service tally.
A Lowers kill followed by a Hannah Hill service point gave PHS (49-9-3) a quick 2-0 lead in the second set. PHS later moved ahead 12-8 after another Hill point and the Timberwolves called timeout. Riding the hot hand, Spring Valley kept feeding Ross and after another downed spike the Timberwolves closed the gap to 15-13.
Then, the Big Reds had serve receive issues as Sarah Kelly produced a trio of aces and then another point thanks to a Brooke Heck kill. Down 17-15, PHS managed to tie the set at 18 on a Ward kill that gave Kaitlin Farrah a service point.
However, Spring Valley's Megan Morrison put her team up for good at 19-18 when she got a downed spike and the Big Reds never got closer than one the rest of the way.
"It's the first time we've lost in three years," PHS head coach Carl Harnish said of not winning the MSAC crown. "We make the wrong bonehead plays at the wrong time. If we ever get it all together... got to work harder. We have to keep working at it."
Spring Valley advanced to the finals by ousting Cabell Midland 27-25 and 25-14 while PHS defeated Woodrow Wilson 25-8 and 25-21.
In the semifinals, Farrah had eight service points while Hill and Megan Morrison had six apiece. Ward, Lowers and Paige Warner combined for 31 kills.
Logan Gowan's four service points paced the Flying Eagles, who got 15 assists from Emily Ernest. Anne Patterson had seven kills while Shaitece Trigg added a half dozen downed spikes in the setback.