WINFIELD, W.Va. — You win some, you lose some.
The Point Pleasant volleyball team did both in Tuesday’s Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 tournament hosted by Winfield High School. First the Lady Knights defeated Nitro in straight games, but then the host Lady Generals claimed straight games over PPHS to end Point Pleasant’s season.
Point Pleasant (8-19) — which earned the program’s first-ever postseason win last year — charged out to a 13-7 lead over Nitro in the opening game of the evening. The Lady Wildcats rallied back to take the lead at 18-13, but the Lady Knights regained the advantage at 23-22. NHS tied the game at 23, but PPHS claimed back-to-back points to take the first game by a 25-23 count.
Nitro claimed a 2-1 lead in the second, and held the advantage for most of the game. The Lady Knights battled back to take the lead at 20-17 and never looked back, cruising to a 25-21 victory.
NHS scored the first four points of the third game and expanded the advantage to 8-2. Point Pleasant took its first lead of the third game at 21-20, but Nitro immediately tied the game at 21. The Lady Knights scored four of the next six points to take the game by a 25-23 final, and the match by a 3-0 tally.
“We hadn’t played Nitro yet this year, and I’m a first-year coach so didn’t really know what to expect,” Lady Knights head coach Marla Cottrill said. “I was proud of them, the girls moved good and they played good. We swept Nitro in three, so we were excited about that.”
PPHS sophomore Gracie Cottrill lead the Lady Knights with 11 service points including four aces, followed by Mackenzie Freeman with eight points and two aces. Leah Cochran and Cierra Porter both posted seven points, including three aces by Cochran and one by Porter. Michaela Cottrill had four points in the win, while Charli Leach added three points and one ace.
At the net, Point Pleasant was led by freshman Lanea Cochran with seven kills and one block, followed by Porter with six kills and one block. Becca Musgrave had four kills and one block, Brenna Dotson posted three kills and three blocks, while Gracie Cottrill added two kills. Freeman, Leah Cochran and Michaela Cottrill each had one kill against Nitro, with Cottrill adding a block.
In the first game of the second match, Winfield (42-5-3) — which was a state quaterfinalist last season — rolled to a 25-3 victory after trailing 2-1. The Lady Knights led 2-0 in the second game, but eventually fell by a 25-11 count. WHS never trailed in the finale, taking the third by a 25-7 count and the match by a 3-0 mark.
“We know what Winfield is,” coach Cottrill said. “We know that they’re a powerhouse, but we just wanted to play. There’s always a miracle that can be done, but we knew what to expect when we beat Nitro.”
Leach led PPHS against the Lady Generals, posting two service points, while Freeman and Leah Cochran both marked one point and an ace in the setback. Musgrave charged the net attack for Point Pleasant with two kills, while Porter, Leah Cochran, Gracie Cottrill and Lanea Cochran each had one kill.
This marks the final match for Point Pleasant seniors Becca Musgrave, Charli Leach, Alexis Runion and Kaitlyn Henry. Coach Cottrill noted that the seniors will be missed, but the future of PPHS volleyball is something to look forward to.
“I’m excited about building a program at Point, not just coming in coaching for a year-or-two and leaving,” coach Cottrill added. “I want to build a program, so we’re excited about the future.”