Three Kanawha Valley volleyball teams will take the court Friday at the Charleston Coliseum with a state championship in their sights.
George Washington, St. Albans and Winfield all made it through the regional round to qualify for the state tournament. The champion and runner-up in each region qualify and in Class AAA Region 3, George Washington defeated St. Albans for that crown. In Class AA Region 4, Winfield defeated Point Pleasant to claim that title.
Both the Patriots and Red Dragons had tough matches in the semifinal round to reach the regional title match.
George Washington fended off a spirited effort from East to win 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19), but it took a little longer to decide the clash between Woodrow Wilson and the Lady Red Dragons.
Needing five sets to determine a winner, St. Albans made the crucial plays in the final set to win the match 3-2 (14-25, 25-12, 25-23, 20-25, 15-12).
“That was a great volleyball match,” St. Albans head coach Rex Eggleton said. “I don’t think I have ever played in front of a better crowd than that right there. The Woodrow student section was fantastic. That is what volleyball is supposed to be right there.”
On the other side of the gymnasium, George Washington was having its hands full with Greenbrier East who was looking to shock the state and surprise the Patriots.
“We knew coming in, no matter who we played, it was going to be hard,” veteran George Washington head coach, Missy Smith said. “That is how the regionals should be with the four best teams left. The games are supposed to be close.”
In the championship match, it was the Patriots who came out on top in three sets to stay undefeated against the Red Dragons for the season.
Winfield got through Scott in the semifinals and Point Pleasant in the regional final for its spot in the Class AA state tournament. Two teams in Class A, Charleston Catholic and Buffalo, fell in the regional semifinals to end their respective seasons. The Irish fell to Greater Beckley Christian in its semifinal match in Class A Region 3 and Buffalo fell to Parkersburg Catholic in Class A Region 4.