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Crusaders beat rival Yellowjackets

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg Catholic’s Paige Stotts dinks the ball across the net as Williamstown’s Lakyn Joy (6) and Aubrey Erwin (18) attempt to block it during Tuesday’s match. The visiting Yellowjackets lost in four sets.

PARKERSBURG — Aaliyah Brunny produced a match-high 18 kills and host Parkersburg Catholic handed rival Williamstown a 25-19, 17-25, 25-14 and 25-14 setback here Thursday in a season opening volleyball dual that featured hot conditions and at times a slippery floor.

PCHS head coach Amanda Weatherwax’s squad, which is set to play host at 5:30 p.m. Monday to Marietta for a pair of best-of-three duals, also received eight downed spikes apiece from Leslie Huffman and Beth Lowther. Madison Ross had nine kills, Paige Stotts four while setter Jenna Boice produced a match-high 31 assists and also contributed six kills and five blocks.

The Yellowjackets, who return to action at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with Cabell Midland for a tri at Parkersburg High School, led 5-1 in the opening set thanks in part to an ace by Lakyn Joy (17 assists, 10 digs) and the first of five kills from Riah Sprouse. Huffman’s block of Kamryn Haynes, who had a match-high 13 digs, later pushed PCHS ahead 11-9, but the ‘Jackets rallied back for a 16-15 lead behind the serving of Joy. However, a Ross ace gave the hosts the lead for good. It was 22-19 after Lowther and Brunny got a double block and Brunny’s kill finished off the opening set.

Although libero Tiana Tauber’s ace gave the hosts an early 4-1 lead in set two,

WHS got things going and held a commanding 19-11 edge after Georgie Inman (six kills) and Aubrey Erwin (seven kills) had a double block.

PCHS tried to fight back, but the match was even at one after Payton Woodard registered a kill on set point from an Inman assist.

An ace by Haynes along with downed spikes by Erwin and Sprouse helped WHS take an early led in set three, but Huffman later registered an ace to tie it at five and served PCHS into the lead for good. Brunny’s mash following a bad ‘Jacket pass on the serve-receive got the hosts fired up. Lowther served for set point.

Boice served for seven straight tallies to open set four, including an ace, as Williamstown couldn’t rally. The visitors still trailed 17-8 following an ace by Halley Landis. WHS libero Jillian Modesitt finished with 10 digs.

“It gets really hot in here, especially this time of year and they sweat like crazy and in volleyball you are diving on the floor and it was a hot one today,” Weatherwax noted of the conditions, which saw a pair of WHS players slip during the match. “We try to do the best we can with trying to have towels around to wipe it off. Seems like we’ll have to get more.

“We’re just really excited this is able to happen. Yesterday after practice the girls and I were talking, and you know, play every game like it’s your last, especially this year because you don’t know. I thought that they displayed that well on the court tonight. They’ve been thankful to be here and that’s all you can ask out of that group. They’ve worked their butts off.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com.

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