The No. 2 Lady Crusaders sought the holy grail continuing the journey for the Class A state volleyball crown denying the No. 7 Lady Cougars passage in the quarterfinals in straight sets last Friday in Charleston: 25-17, 29-27, 25-17.

Parkersburg Catholic’s quest was cut short in the semifinals by Paden City, then Wirt County won its 12th Class A state championship in program history which is the most by any team in the Mountain State.

East Hardy kept pace with the Lady Crusaders and battled ferociously in the second set nearly snatching the win as an equalizer, but Parkersburg Catholic arose to the challenge.

“It is very special and it’s the state tournament and it’s exciting. We’re very fortunate and the girls worked very hard all year. If they continue to work hard, then they will be hard to beat,” Parkersburg Catholic coach Amanda Weatherwax commented.

“The keys were just staying focused on the block and making sure we’re staying deep and finding open shots. They didn’t have the same open shots as other teams we played, so we had to adjust on ball placement and staying aggressive and staying together. In game one, it seemed they were cleaning everything up. We had to start redirecting and mixing up placements. We had to change up our speed. This our second time here since I have been coaching for here.”

The Lady Cougars took an early 3-1 lead in the opening set of the quarterfinal before Parkersburg Catholic rattled off six straight points and East Hardy didn’t fold battling back to tie the set at 10-all.

Erin Riggle notched the first point for the Lady Cougars with a kill, then Jaden Fleshman made a dig before Parkersburg Catholic’s Aaliyah Brunny evened the set on an attack.

After a service error by the Lady Crusaders, East Hardy’s Victoria Ames delivered an ace for the 3-1 edge before Parkersburg Catholic’s Jenna Boice had an attack ricochet off the Lady Cougars out of

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