PARKERSBURG - A quartet of Little Kanawha Conference volleyball teams as well as Magnolia will vie for state championships beginning today inside the Charleston Civic Center.
LKC runner-up Tyler Consolidated (34-13) will hit the floor early as the Silver Knights take on Charleston Catholic at 8:30 a.m. in a Class A quarterfinal. The winner of that match will move on to play at 6:30 p.m. versus the East Hardy/Man victor.
"I've not seen them anywhere," said TCHS head coach Richard Summers of the Irish.
Tyler Consolidated won its regional by defeating Magnolia in four sets. The Silver Knights were led by the trio of Megan Carpenter (16 kills, 10 blocks), Bridget Matthews (20 kills, nine blocks) and Sydney Reed (10 kills, six blocks).
"Megan Carpenter has just been carrying us," Summers added. "Everybody has been playing well, but Megan has been playing really well and I hope that continues.
"You get down here and who knows. Anything can happen down here. We've just been working on trying to play our game, be patient and hope it works."
Pairings for the W.Va. State Volleyball
Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center
Today, Class A
8:30 a.m. - Tyler Consolidated vs. Charleston Catholic
following - East Hardy vs. Man
1:30 p.m. - Wirt County vs. Magnolia
following - Greater Beckley Christian vs. Pendleton County
6:30 p.m. - TCHS/CCHS winner vs. EHHS/MHS winner
following - WCHS/MHS winner vs. GBCS/PCHS winner
11:30 a.m. - Approximate
Today, Class AA
8:30 a.m. - Oak Glen vs. Clay County
following - Philip Barbour vs. Independence
1:30 p.m. - Herbert Hoover vs. Ritchie County
following - Westside vs. Robert C. Byrd
6:30 p.m. - OGHS/CCHS winner vs. PBHS/IHS winner
following - HHHS/RCHS winner vs. WHS/RCB winner
1:30 p.m. - Approximate
Today, Class AAA
8:30 a.m. - Parkersburg vs. Cabell Midland
following - Musselman vs. Capital
1:30 p.m. - Spring Valley vs. Parkersburg South
following - Greenbrier East vs. Martinsburg
6:30 p.m. - PHS/CMHS winner vs. MHS/CHS winner
following - SVHS/PSHS winner vs. GEHS/MHS winner
9:30 a.m. - First title match, others rolling schedule
Since Charleston Catholic knocked off defending Class A state champion Williamstown in the regional semifinal, a new champion will be crowned. However, two area teams will tangle at 1:30 p.m. today when Wirt County faces off against Magnolia (26-10).
"This is our second year in a row going to state and we played Wirt in a scrimmage and beat them, but that was early," said Blue Eagle head coach Pam Chapman, whose team has been led by all-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 3A selection Mallory Chapman.
The coach's daughter has nearly 400 kills and digs, 130 aces and almost 150 blocks.
"The regional final was a tough one and Tyler has a very nice team and they played well. Our goal was to return to state and one goal has been met. Now, it is up to the team what happens next."
After a one year absence from the big dance, the Tigers of head coach Janet Frazier are back. Wirt County knocked off Charleston Catholic in the regional final thanks to a total team effort as well as a match-high 20 downed spikes from senior Brandy Bunch.
"We're very happy about getting back," Frazier said of her 34-13-4 Tigers. "We've just got to go down, play our game and see how it turns out. Magnolia has some strong hitters and of course a good coach.
"I think the girls are pretty excited about getting back, but they are pretty calm about it."
The Wirt County/Magnolia winner will play against the Greater Beckley Christian/Pendleton County winner in tonight's late semifinal.
When it comes to Class AA, two-time defending champion Oak Glen is back and ready to go.
However, the first step for the Golden Bears is to take on LKC third place winner Clay County, which is coached by third-year head man Todd Samples. The young Panthers, who will play at 8:30 a.m., are 34-11 and have watched junior Gracen Samples post 381 kills, 112 aces, 149 digs and 80 blocks.
"It's a tall order for these young girls, but we got a little bit of size and if we can block them we'll have a chance," said Samples, who noted the Panther faithful have two fan buses coming down for support.
This marks just the second time in school history and the first since 2004 the Panthers have made the final eight.
"They've really exceeded my expectations and last year we didn't get out of sectionals," Samples noted. "Oak Glen plays phenomenal defense, but we're going to give it a shot."
Ritchie County, which punched its ticket to the state tournament for the eighth consecutive year, takes on Herbert Hoover at 1:30 p.m. The Rebels (24-22-1) were swept in straight sets by Oak Glen in the regional final and have fallen to the Golden Bears in each of the past two double-A title matches.
"I'm proud of the girls making it back to Charleston," said Rebel head coach Melanie Allender, whose team got 27 assists from Becca Sullivan and 11 kills from Kenna DeLancey in the regional final. "They are young and we've struggled through much of our season.
"We played a pretty tough schedule and they had to lose and learn more often than we had hoped. It's a new season and everyone starts equally. We just have to take it one game at a time and be confident that we can win."