PARKERSBURG - The Little Kanawha Conference volleyball placement matches will get underway at 6 p.m. today and the annual tournament is set for a 4 p.m. start on Saturday in Roane County.
Reigning champion Tyler Consolidated reached the semifinals as the No. 2 seed in the LKC North. Defending Class A state champion Williamstown went undefeated and earned the top seed.
In the LKC South, Wirt County won each of its six matches to take the top seed and the Tigers will tangle with the Silver Knights. Williamstown's opponent in the other semifinal is Clay County, which earned the South's No. 2 seed after going 4-2 and winning a tiebreaker against Calhoun County and Gilmer County.
The two semifinal matches will take place simultaneously. After they are concluded, the championship match will be played at the same time as the consolation match.
"Our goal for Saturday is to compete and try to elevate our game for postseason play," said TCHS head coach Richard Summers, whose squad is 27-9. "Defending the title will be a difficult task against this caliber of competition.
"The keys for us in this this tournament and the postseason is staying mentally involved for an entire match. There can be no mental lapses against a team as good as Wirt."
The Silver Knights run their offense through setter Kerstyn Cline.
Cline had 51 assists and teammate Megan Carpenter had 17 kills during Tyler Consolidated's sweep of John Marshall and Paden City on Tuesday night.
Wirt County, which was swept by Tyler Consolidated a month ago in Kidwell, has won eight straight and will bring a 26-9-4 mark into the LKC tournament. The Tigers haven't played since last Wednesday when the orange and black knocked off Williamstown and Ritchie County in straight sets. The Tigers were led by Brandy Bunch's 25 kills and Liz Adams' 17 points and 39 assists.
"We started off the season really slow, but have shown signs of improvement in the last few weeks," said Wirt County head coach Janet Frazier. "For a group full of juniors and seniors, I kind of expected to be better sooner.
"We don't put a lot of emphasis on the LKC playoffs. We're just glad we made it to the Night of Champions, which hopefully will help get us ready for sectionals."
Williamstown, which boasts only one senior in Kristi Mayo, received a 20 kill effort from Ashton Chancellor on Tuesday night when the 'Jackets (28-9-3) defeated Ritchie County and Doddridge County.
"I think we can beat Clay from everything I've heard," said Yellowjacket head coach Rachelle Cole. "Then we'll have to play Wirt or Tyler and neither one of them are going to be easy. We've split with both of them."
Having such a young team, Cole knows it's important for her girls to stay focused because "sometimes we play like we have no sense of anything."
Clay County entered the week with a 26-9 record. Head man Todd Samples' Panthers feature lone senior Carleena Craddock, the libero, as well as returning Class AA honorable mention all-stater Gracen Samples.
* The LKC South programs will act as the host for tonight's placement matches: 5th Ritchie County at Calhoun County; 7th Ravenswood at Gilmer County; 9th Parkersburg Catholic at Roane County; 11th Doddridge County at Braxton County; 13th St. Marys at South Harrison.