PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — By the time the Lady Falcons got their postseason legs under them, it was too little, too late.
The sixth-seeded Wahama volleyball team couldn’t overcome a slow start in the opening round of the Class A Region IV, Section 1 tournament, falling in straight games to third-seeded Williamstown on Monday at Parkersburg Catholic High School.
Williamstown (20-18-4) led wire-to-wire in both of the first two games, topping the Lady Falcons (5-21) by counts of 25-8 and 25-9.
“Whenever we first started we couldn’t make that first pass,” Wahama head coach Matt VanMeter said. ” If you don’t have that first pass, you don’t have anything.”
The Lady Falcons — who move on to an elimination game on Tuesday at PCHS — gained their first lead of the night at 14-13 in the third game, but the Lady Jackets regained the edge at 16-15 and extended their advantage to as many as five points, at 23-18. Wahama fought back to within two, but dropped back-to-back points, giving the Maroon and Gold a 25-21 win.
“They actually started playing smarter volleyball,” Coach VanMeter said of the third game. “Every ball doesn’t have to be a down ball, you just have to get it to the floor. I think we settled in, unfortunately by the time you have two losses under your belt, it’s a little late to settle in.”
For the match, Williamstown held a 56.4-to-28.4 advantage in side-out percentage, while the Lady Falcons earned a 94.9-to-91.9 edge in serving percentage. Wahama also earned a 32-to-27 advantage in digs, while committing eight hitting errors and just two serving errors.
“Sometimes I think it’s just the thought of who we’re playing,” Coach VanMeter said. “You play Williamstown, Wirt County, the bigger teams, and that gets in your head before you actually get to the game. Sometimes girls have a tendency to beat themselves before the game even starts, and I think that happened a little bit.
“We’re still only eight years in and these programs have been going for a long time,” added VanMeter. “I think we’re going to be a force to be dealt with in the future.”
The Lady Falcons were led by Gracie VanMeter with nine service points, all coming in the final game. Harley Roush was next with four points and two aces, followed by Madison VanMeter and Logan Eades with two points each, including an ace by VanMeter.
Madison VanMeter earned a team-best three kills, Emma Gibbs added one kill and one block, Elizabeth Mullins chipped in with two blocks, while Gracie VanMeter and Hannah Billups both collected one kill. Billups earned a team-high two assists, while Roush came up with a match-best 12 digs.
Meghan Jefferson led the victors with 16 points, followed by Chloe Hooper with 10. Gracie Graham and Tori Tadlock each had nine service points, Skylar Watson added seven points, while Skyler Chancellor chipped in with two points.
Bethany Arnold led the Maroon and Gold at the net with 15 kills, followed by Chancellor with 10 kills and one block. Tadlock recorded a match-best 24 assists, while Watson led the Williamstown on defense with seven digs.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.