PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg South came back big against Cabell Midland in Saturday’s Class AAA, Region IV semifinals inside Memorial Fieldhouse and the Patriots of first-year head coach Emily Tracewell finished the deal and lifted the Hurricanes to claim the championship.
Cabell Midland saw a 19-10 three-set advantage fall by the wayside as Parkersburg South eventually held off the Knights — 26-24, 20-25, 25-23, 20-25 and 15-10 — to reach the state tournament for the first time. . period since 2012.
Maia Johnson had 28 kills in the semifinals and added 15 more in the Patriots’ 25-19, 25-14 and 25-16 sweep of the Hurricanes, which dropped PSHS to the fifth round.
“We just took a moment and took a break and started again. We were just looking,” Johnson said going into the fifth round she knew a loss would end her career along with senior teammate Reagan Parsons and Jaslynn Dixon, who had an ace and two kills.
“We just had to think more. We knew we could pick it up and put it back down and we did that. I owe it to my team. I can’t do it alone.
Things didn’t look good for PSHS head coach Emily Tracewell as the Patriots looked set to fall 2-1 in the semifinals after Cabell Midland (32-11-4) came out on top 19-10. good in three sets.
Knight setter Jilly Yost put her team ahead 20-13 after a second kill, but the Patriots responded by scoring 12 of the final 15 points. In a long rally with three even at 23, Patriot Payten Mackey laid down Baylee Smith and Dixon followed with an ace.
Despite losing in four sets, Parkersburg South received three straight spikes from Hanna Vaught to break a seven-match streak in five sets. Mackey, who did not play in the final, completed the score when Johnson put one down on an assist from Parsons.
“Happiness. Power,” Dixon responded when asked about how he felt after taking a picture of the sports team. “I’m ready to say it because we haven’t been there for a long time.
“It’s like an amazing feeling. I feel very good because all my hard work paid off and other seniors are enjoying it, and I am very happy. “
The Hurricanes (33-14-1) were unable to score in the championship game, but still managed to advance to the quarterfinals.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them because they played amazing and they have a great team,” said first-year HHS tight end Dustin Walls of the Patriots.
“We didn’t have the energy we needed to match them and when a good team plays so hard it’s hard to beat them.”
In the title match, the Hurricanes took a 4-1 lead thanks to some of Claire Wheeler’s aces. The Redskins went ahead 6-3 after Reese Parsons was killed by one of Wheeler’s 19 assists. However, back-to-back spikes by Shyanne Hays and Johnson put the Patriots in front to make it 11-9 at the start.
Patriot Parsons helped the locals take a 7-1 lead in set two with a quartet of points that included an ace. Although libero Alyssa Garrett registered a kill via an assist from Madeline Perry, the Redskins still trailed 15-7.
Parkersburg South pushed ahead 21-9 after a kill by Sydney McKee and the Patriots scored their second straight lead via a Redskin career error.
HHS’s biggest lead in the third set came at 9-7 after Perry and Abigail Deel hit back-to-back kills. The cushion didn’t last as Johnson took the net with five kills to help the Patriots advance.
South (21-17-1) extended its cushion to 19-14 thanks to libero Brylee Hatcher’s ace. Two blocks by Johnson and Parsons sealed the game.
“I’ve believed all this time,” admitted coach Tracewell that he would get the Patriots back in the state championship.
“I knew that if we played at the level we could play with our skills, and stayed patient and worked on all the things that coach Brady (Ohrn) and I have been working on, that we would be able to make it to the State Tournament.”
Parsons finished with a game-high 32 assists and has plenty of potential to win the big prize in Charleston.
“It’s very exciting. I mean I thought we were going to make it last year, but we missed out on the sectionals so it’s great to come here with Emily and Brady as our coaches,” Parsons said. “It feels good to go there in my last season and be able to go to states.
“I will say one day after playing with them in the stages we were all tired. We had a few players injured, some sick and you can just tell. I mean we took them to five and we didn’t lose easily, but I will say that we didn’t play our best games in the divisions. “
Contact Jay Bennett at [email protected]