RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — The Wahama volleyball team had its 2016 campaign come to a close on Tuesday night in the Ravenswood High School Physical Education Building, as the Lady Falcons dropped a 3-0 decision to Parkersburg Catholic, in a Class A Region IV, Section 1 contest.
After four lead changes and five ties early in the opening game, Parkersburg Catholic (24-21) opened up an eight-point lead. The Lady Falcons (2-22) battled back to within four points at 21-17, but PCHS claimed the next four points and the game by a 25-17 final.
“We were hustling, making good passes, moving our feet and doing the basic stuff that we needed to,” Wahama head coach Matt VanMeter said of the opening game. “Everything was working to a certain extent, and if you take our mistakes away in the at first game, it’s a lot closer of a ball game, if not a tie ball game. After that, the wheels fell off and we didn’t have any tools to fix it.”
Parkersburg Catholic led wire-to-wire in the second game, winning by a 25-6 count to move ahead 2-0 in the match.
Wahama fell behind 14-to-3 in the third game, but fought back to within five points. The Lady Crusaders won the finale by a 25-19 count, however, sealing the 3-0 victory and avoiding elimination.
WHS freshman Gracie VanMeter led the Lady Falcons with eight service points and three aces. Hannah Billups was next with five points and two aces, followed by Maddy VanMatre with three points and one ace. Madison VanMeter finished with two points and one ace, while Makinley Bumgarner chipped in with one point and one ace.
At the net, Bumgarner and Madison VanMeter led the Red and White with three kills each. Billups, Gracie VanMeter and Maddy VanMatre each finished with two kills for WHS, while Elizabeth Mullins and Emily VanMatre each had one kill.
Gracie VanMeter and Madison VanMeter led the Lady Falcons with four assists each, while Mullins and Maddy VanMatre each had one block. Madison VanMeter led the WHS defense with 11 digs, followed by Maddy VanMatre with nine.
The Lady Crusaders were led by Maria Tallman with 16 points, including six aces. Abby Witucky posted 12 points and two aces, Olivia Ullman added 10 points and three aces, while Emily Stewart finished with six points and one ace. Gracie Lowers and Mikayla Alkier each marked three points, including a pair of aces by Lowers.
Witucky led the victors at the net with 21 kills, followed by Ullman with five. Ullman led the team with 16 assists, while Witucky contributed seven. Alkier posted the team’s lone block, while Lowers came up with a match-best 12 digs.
For Wahama it was a long start to the regular season, but the Lady Falcons won their final two regular season matches, before going 0-2 in the sectional tournament.
“These girls have played their hearts are all year,” Coach VanMeter said. “For them to stay up and keep pushing like that it means a lot. As we keep going and we keep building this program, it’s going to get better and better. These girls keep improving and the girls at the junior high level keep improving. We’ll have a good team here for the next several years.”
The Lady Falcons will have to replace just two seniors from this year’s team in Grace Hill and Emily Gerlach. Wahama’s returnees will be hoping to gain more experience this off season.
“I have a lot of girls that have decided they want to play club ball,” Coach VanMeter said. “If you want to hang with the TVC and these better teams, you have to play ball in the off season. Whether they win or lose at club ball, they’re going to get experience and that’s what we need.”
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.