Gracie Lowers, Jenna Boice on Class A first team
PARKERSBURG –Wirt County became the most successful volleyball program in Mountain State history after the Tigers swept Paden City to win the Class A state title and collect the school’s 12th championship, surpassing Parkersburg High’s 11.
One of the key cogs in the machine for first-year Tiger boss Miriam Beall was senior Kylie Stephens, who was selected as captain of the all-state first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“Kylie is a powerfully skilled player whether she is being asked to block, hit, serve or dig,” stated Beall of the three-time first team all-state honoree. “If you take away cross court, she is going to go line. Kylie can hit cross court, line and a cut shot. She can read the hitter to make sure she is positioned correctly.
“She can pick out the holes and aim for them whether serving or hitting. With a strong top serve, Kylie finished the season with 95 aces. It’s nice to have someone who hits hard because our girls are not as intimidated by another opponents’ hard hitter. This helped our team be ready for strong servers and hitters that we encountered.”
Stephens’ final campaign for the orange and black also featured 43 assists, 245 digs, 125 blocks and 613 kills. She had a .521 hitting efficiency.
Two other players — Parkersburg Catholic senior libero Gracie Lowers and Magnolia 12th-grader Kyndra Pilant — were repeat selections on the first unit.
Pilant was an integral part of the Blue Eagles’ 2018 state championship squad, but MHS failed to make it out of sectional play as returning first team all-stater Mady Winters was lost for the season due to a knee injury. Pilant mashed to the tune of 887 kills, 354 digs and 200 blocks. Lowers surpassed the 2,000-career dig plateau this fall and helped PCHS reach the state semifinals for the second straight season.
Along with 89 aces, Lowers had 437 digs.
Much like Pilant and Winters were a one-two punch last fall for the Blue Eagles, the same held true for Wirt County this year. Tiger junior Emma Wyer, a second team selection in 2018, earned a first team nod after posting 22 assists, 41 aces, 97 digs, 143 blocks and 321 downed spikes while hitting .394.
The runner-up Wildcats, who became the first squad in Paden City history to reach the state tournament, were represented on the first team by juniors Hope Weber and Mallory Yeater. Weber, who was second team as a sophomore, hit .520 and tallied 567 kills, 31 blocks, 45 aces and 248 assists. Along with hitting at a .340 clip, Yeater produced 81 aces, 680 assists, 310 kills and 351 digs.
Also moving up from the second team last fall was Parkersburg Catholic setter Jenna Boice, who surpassed 2,000 career assists. The junior not only had 20 blocks and 47 downed spikes, but she had 76 aces, 112 digs and 964 assists.
Greenbrier West senior middle Kenley Posten hit .320 with 408 kills, 66 aces and 19 blocks to help the Cavaliers reach the state tournament. Also earning nods on the first team were Charleston Catholic senior Elizabeth Kay (28 assists, 36 aces, 192 blocks, 406 kills) and Buffalo’s Janessa Harris. The junior led the Bison to the regional semifinal before falling to Parkersburg Catholic in four sets. She hit .254 with 376 downed spikes, 77 aces, 174 digs and 22 blocks.
The second team captain spot went to Parkersburg Catholic junior Aaliyah Brunny.
Six seniors made the second team in Greenbrier West’s Julie Agee, Ritchie County’s Ashley Davis, Buffalo’s Meagan Kearns, South Harrison’s Kylie Saltis, Ravenswood’s Rylin Tabor and Magnolia’s Kayna Anderson. The second unit is rounded out by juniors Erin Riggle of East Hardy and Tyler Consolidated’s Regan Smith along with sophomore Faith Brooks of Greater Beckley Christian.
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com
2019 W.Va. Class A All-State Volleyball
Kylie Stephens, Wirt County, SR (CAPTAIN)
Kyndra Pilant, Magnolia, SR
Gracie Lowers, Parkersburg Catholic, SR
Hope Weber, Paden City, JR
Emma Wyer, Wirt County, JR
Janessa Harris, Buffalo, JR
Mallory Yeater, Paden City, JR
Jenna Boice, Parkersburg Catholic, JR
Elizabeth Kay, Charleston Catholic, SR
Kenley Posten, Greenbrier West, SR
Aaliyah Brunny, Parkersburg Catholic, JR (CAPTAIN)
Julie Agee, Greenbrier West, SR
Faith Brooks, Greater Beckley Christian, SO
Erin Riggle, East Hardy, JR
Regan Smith, Tyler Consolidated, JR
Meagan Kearns, Buffalo, SR
Rylin Tabor, Ravenswood, SR
Ashley Davis, Ritchie County, SR
Kylie Saltis, South Harrison, SR
Kayna Anderson, Magnolia, SR
Special Honorable Mention
Katie Scott, Pendleton County; Kenzie O’Dell, Greenbrier West; Skyler Chancellor, Williamstown; Gavin Pivot, Summers County; Lindsey Rinker, Moorefield; Lacy Rummler, Doddridge County; Jennifer Fisher, Greater Beckley Christian; Bailee Yokum, Notre Dame; Rebekah Ruppert, Ritchie County; Sierra Miller, East Hardy; Zaniya Colin, Greater Beckley Christian; Carrah Ferguson, Gilmer County; Sophia Veazey, Charleston Catholic; Madison Dennis, Calhoun County; Autumn Thompson, Sherman; Emma Gibbs, Wahama
Sydney Hardy, Moorefield; Bella Teter, South Harrison; Betty Watson, Meadow Bridge; Bri Jones, Ritchie County; Reegan Lively, Greenbrier West; Kasey Hoff, Ravenswood; Katlyn Williams, Montcalm; Lainie Ross, Parkersburg Catholic; Bethany Cline, Summers County; Leneica Grimm, Magnolia; Bethany Jarrell, Tolsia; Lakyn Joy, Williamstown; Emma Grace Holstein, Greater Beckley Christian; Kiara Smith, Richwood; Caleigh Phillips, Tyler Consolidated; Abigail Lanham, Notre Dame; Cora Anderson, Paden City; Maggie Bailey, Wirt County