Yellowjackets fall to Parkersburg, Philip Barbour

JAY W. BENNETT The Marietta Times Williamstown’s Brooke Stewart spikes the ball past Parkersburg’s Grace West as Yellowjacket libero Skylar Watson covers behind during Tuesday’s triangular at Memorial Fieldhouse.

PARKERSBURG — Each of the three Mountain State classifications were represented here Tuesday evening inside Memorial Fieldhouse during a volleyball triangular, but it was host Class AAA Parkersburg which knocked off double-A power Philip Barbour and single-A stalwart Williamstown to improve to 17-6-2 for first-year head coach Erin Thorpe.

“I was really excited about this tri because we knew coming in we were going to have two really hard teams,” said Thorpe, whose squad was playing without the services of injured senior defensive specialist Madi Gribble.

“I know they are double-A and single-A teams, but they are really hard opponents. That’s why I wanted to schedule with them because I knew they would make us better. I was really proud of the girls for pulling out the win.”

In the opener, the Big Reds handed Williamstown a 25-20, 23-25 and 25-18 setback before Philip Barbour dealt the Yellowjackets a 28-26 and 25-22 loss. The Colts (20-7-1) rolled to a 25-18 first set win versus PHS, but the hosts rallied to win the match by grabbing the final two sets — 25-12 and 25-20.

PHS, which returns to action Thursday with a quad at Cabell Midland, trailed 17-16 in set three against WHS after Nellie King’s kill. However, Shay-Lee Kirby put down one of her match-high 12 kills to tie it and she then served up three straight points, including two aces, to give the red and white control. A Grace West dink kill was followed by an Emily Casto (10 kills) downed spike to later make it 22-18. Amayah Lauer, who had nine points, three aces, five kills and as many digs, served for the final four tallies. West’s block set up match point, which was earned by Casto when her spike went unreturned.

“We’re going to change the lineup,” said Yellowjacket head coach Rachelle Cole, whose team got 14 points and 20 assists from BreeAnn Reynolds as well as a combined 16 kills from Brooke Stewart and Courtney Dotson.

“We’ve got a week (plays next Tuesday at Tyler Consolidated quad) to work on this. We’ve just got a lot of work to do.”

Versus the Colts, Williamstown (22-3) used a Bethany Arnold kill with Tori Tadlock at the service line to take a 25-24 lead in the opening set. A Carmen Cline kill and then a Cline/Madelyn Mitchell double block on Dotson put Philip Barbour ahead 26-25. Although a spike by Arnold tied the set at 26-all, Mitchell put one to the floor and then Cline followed, both via Maddi Carpenter assists, to take the opening set.

An ace from Mitchell put WHS in a 12-9 hole, but Skylar Watson served up eight straight points as Dotson and Stewart dominated at the net. Leading 18-12, the Yellowjackets appeared poised to force a third set, but Jenna Brown’s five straight service tallies helped knot things at 19. McKenzie Carpenter, who had match-highs of 14 kills and 6.5 blocks, was too much at the net for the ‘Jackets to handle. Mitchell’s downed spike from Maddie Carpenter’s match-high 30th assist made it 24-22 and WHS had an attack error on match point.

In the final match of the evening, PBHS led 12-7 early in the first set as the two teams combined for seven service errors at that point. A Casto kill kept PHS within striking distance at 20-13, but the hosts couldn’t get any momentum going until the final two sets.

Shelby Roberts served seven straight points to help PHS go up 8-0 in set two. A trio of tallies from Lauer later made it 18-6 and a smashing Haddae Allen kill off a bad pass with red and white teammate Hannah Adkins serving put the Colts in an insurmountable 20-7 hole.

West and Lauer’s double block gave the hosts an 8-7 cushion early in set three, but the Colts led 14-11 after a Jyra Casto kill and still at 15-12 following a McKenzie Carpenter downed spike.

Allen’s kill from one of Ciara Miller’s 20 assists later cut the deficit to 16-14. PHS took the lead for good at 17-16 after Casto notched one of her dozen kills. Kirby, who had eight kills versus the Colts, put one down on a bad serve-receive to make it 24-19 and a service error ended Philip Barbour’s night.