East Hardy and Moorefield took its rivalry to the biggest stage competing for the first time against each other at the Class A State Volleyball Tournament, setting for a semifinal bout in Charleston and for the fifth time this season with the Cougars rotating to the victory in straight sets to earn a spot in the championship match having all of this passing on Thursday: 25-15, 25-23, 25-21.
Both teams had a bye in the first round due to three team being absent on account of COVID-19 and seedings placing the All-Hardy County match for the semifinals.
It has been a back-and-forth battle for the Hardy County squads with the Yellow Jackets winning the previous match which was the Region II Championship and the Cougars claimed the Region II Section 2 Championship and these two title matches had one thing in common with the semifinal game being the fact it took just three sets for the wins.
“We spent a lot of time this week talking about attitude and adversity and what we were going to do when we faced them. It really was a mental game. We told the girls no matter what happens out here to stay positive and that the first team to calm down is going to be the team to emerge victorious. We are down here in Charleston with the opportunity to go to the state championship, so there was a lot of emotion involved. I am just really proud of how our girls handled the big stage. We settled down and hit the ball hard and executed the game plan. Our girls really brought it,” East Hardy assistant coach Chris Hahn commented.
“Everybody talks about how Region I has really good volleyball. Single A volleyball in Region I is very tough from top to bottom, but we like to think we can play volleyball over here in the eastern panhandle too. Our schedule has no slackers, it includes Hedgesville who made it down here and Hampshire would have if they were given the chance. Just the fact our girls were able to come down here and execute in front of the people of Charleston means a lot. We can play volleyball in Region II.”