SAINT ALBANS, W.Va. — Growing pains.
The Point Pleasant volleyball team had its 2013 campaign come to a close Monday night following a 25-12, 25-12, 25-20 setback to Nitro in a Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 quarterfinal match at St. Albans High School in Kanawha County.
The fifth-seeded Lady Knights (7-17) struggled through a pair of 13-point losses in the opening two games, then put up a courageous fight in the finale before being swept in straight games by a five-point decision. Fourth-seeded Nitro advanced to Tuesday’s semifinal against top-seeded Winfield, where it fell 23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-12.
Point Pleasant will be returning all of its varsity roster next season, a group that went 4-0 against Mason County programs while also earning its first-ever Class AAA win over Huntington. The Lady Knights also defeated this same Nitro program during the last week of the regular season.
“This year’s team made some impressive strides in AAA competition this year and lost some close matches against some very talented teams,” second-year PPHS coach Amy Shriver said. “We just made too many young mistakes. With hard work and playing in the offseason, this team will be very competitive next year.”
After scoring just 12 points in each of the first two games, PPHS rallied back from a 14-6 deficit to pull to within 20-19 late in Game 3. Nitro, however, scored five of the next six points to wrap up the 3-0 match win.
Beth Porter led the Lady Knights with six service points and four aces, followed by Michaela Cottrill with four points and two aces. Megan Bates and Cammy Hesson both contributed two points and an ace, while Charli Leach had two points and Brooke Entingh added one point.
Bates led the net attack with six kills, followed by Cottrill with five kills. Leach, Becca Musgrave and Megan Hammond each contributed two kills, while Hesson and Porter chipped in a kill apiece. Bates also had both blocks for Point in the setback.
Cottrill led the defense with 22 digs, while Bates and Hesson respectively contributed 19 and 10 digs. Leach led the offense with nine assists and Hesson chipped in eight assists.