MASON, W.Va. — The Lady Falcons are inching close to their first sectional title.
The Wahama volleyball team dropped their first match against top-seeded Buffalo, but the Red and White defeated Hannan and St. Joseph to advance in the Region I, Section IV tournament on Monday night in Mason County.
The Lady Falcons (12-19) came close to toppling the Lady Bison, but were able to take out the Lady Wildcats and the Lady Irish.
Emmalee Broyles gave Wahama a 4-0 lead early in the first set. Buffalo fought back to take the 11-6 advantage. Rebekah Roach’s five consecutive service points gave the home squad a 15-13 edge. The Lady Bison offense regained control and took Game 1 25-19.
Buffalo’s momentum carried over into the second set. Brooke Slaubaugh and Kayla Willbond got the Lady Bison out to an early 9-3 lead. Madison VanMeter had three service points during the set, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Buffalo. The Lady Bison took Game 2 25-13.
The Lady Falcons adjusted heading into the Game 3 and took an 11-4 lead early in the set. Roach’s five straight service points gave the Red and White a 10-point advantage. The Lady Bison couldn’t find an answer as Wahama easily took the third set 25-12.
The Lady Bison charged out to an early 10-5 lead in the fourth set. Roach’s four points got the Lady Falcons back to within four of their opponents. Kassidy Shamblen’s four service points at the end aided in Buffalo’s 25-17 win in Game 4.
The Red and White struggled early on in their next match against Hannan. Lanie Craig got the Lady Wildcats up 5-0 early in the first set. Elizabeth Mullins’ four points got the Lady Falcons to within three points. Wahama rallied and took Game 1 25-21.
The Lady Falcons took control early in Game 2 with a 9-3 lead. Hannah Billups’ three points added onto the lead to put Wahama up 15-9. Mckayla Hoffman kept Hannan in the game with three service points. Broyles finished the set off to give the Lady Falcons the 25-20 win in the second set.
By the third set, the Lady Wildcats had lost their offensive edge. Roach’s three points gave Wahama the 15-7 lead midway through the game. Kassidee Bush attempted to turn Hannan around with five service points, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Red and White took Game 3 25-13.
Wahama continued its offensive fury against St. Joe. The Lady Falcons got out to a commanding 16-5 lead in the first set thanks to the efforts from Broyles, Roach and Molly Fisher. Desiree Disu tried to kickstart the Lady Irish offense with three service points. The Lady Falcons took Game 1 25-13.
Fatigue started to set in for the Red and White in Game 2. Broyles got the Lady Falcons out to an early lead, but Disu helped St. Joe keep pace. Wahama took control of the game thanks to Broyles’ eight service points. The Red and White took the second set 25-19.
Game 4 became a struggle as both squads began to feel the wear and tear of their previous matches. St. Joe’s Hannah Stapleton got the Lady Irish out to a 12-9 lead. Broyles four straight service points helped tie the game at 14-all. The Lady Irish briefly took control, but the Red and White battled back to win the fourth set 26-24.
Broyles led the Lady Falcons with 36 service points for the evening, while Roach finished with 21 service points. Olivia Hill had 14 points, followed by VanMeter and Fisher with 13 points each. Billups had 11 points and Mullins contributed 10 points for the Lady Falcons.
“With our girls, you never know who is going to show up,” Wahama coach Matt VanMeter said. “By the third game with St. Joe, we were just gassed. The girls came back from behind and cleaned some of their mistakes up and pulled it out.”
Wahama will face Charleston Catholic on Wednesday night at 5 p.m at Wahama High School. The winner of that match will move on to face Buffalo immediately after for the sectional championship.
Donald Lambert can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106.