SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — The postseason couldn’t have started much better for the Lady Knights.
The top-seeded Point Pleasant volleyball team rolled past fourth seeded Wayne in straight games, in the Class AA Region IV, Section 1 tournament on Monday night inside Calvin McKinney Gymnasium at Sissonville High School.
Point Pleasant (30-2-2) — winner of 22 matches in a row — claimed a perfect side-out percentage in Monday’s opening game, leading wire-to-wire en route to the 25-9 triumph.
The Lady Knights never trailed in the second set either, fighting through a 1-1 tie on their way to another 25-9 victory.
Wayne (12-24-3) claimed its first and only lead of the night at 1-0 in the third, but PPHS won the next three points and never looked back on its way to the match-clinching 25-8 win.
Following the victory, fifth-year Lady Knights head coach Marla Cottrill talked about what led her team to their 30th win of the year and first of the postseason.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work and dedication from the girls,” Cottrill said. “Tristan (Wilson), one of our big hitters, she’s really stepped up and done her job, she’s done her job all season. We had played Wayne once, and when you play a team once it’s kind of hard because they may be down. But, we had watched some film and we knew where their strength was, we knew (Kierstin Stroud) was their better hitter. Our servers served, we were able to get our hits in and we were able to cover, and that’s what you do.”
The Point Pleasant service was led by Haley Milhoan with 20 points and four aces, and Olivia Dotson with 16 points and seven aces. Peyton Jordan claimed six points in the triumph, Brooke Warner added three points and an ace, while Addy Cottrill and Baylie Rickard had two points and an ace each.
Tristan Wilson paced the PPHS net attack with 18 kills. Cottrill was next with nine kills, followed by Milhoan with seven. Dotson finished with five kills, one block and a match-best 32 assists, while Warner came up with a kill for the victors.
For the Lady Pioneers, Baylee Draper had two points and Madison Fizer finished with one.
Coach Cottrill acknowledged that all of the Lady Knights’ regular season success was simply to prepare them for the postseason, and now a chance to avenge last year’s season-ending setback.
“It’s all practice until sectionals, that’s what we kept telling our girls,” Cottrill said. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve won five games or you’ve won 30, nothing matters until you come to sectionals, and you have to play at sectionals. Last year we played Nitro twice in season, and then they came back and beat us in the tournament. I just heard that Nitro beat Winfield, so it’s going to be a little scary Wednesday, but it’ll be good.”
The winner of Wednesday’s match between the Lady Knights and third-seeded Nitro will face the losers’ bracket champion later on Wednesday night at Sissonville High School.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.