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Lady Bucs reach finals of Eagles Classic

Posted: Thursday, Sep 27th, 2012

CLARKSBURG — In their second weekend tournament action of the season, the Buckhannon-Upshur Lady Buccaneer volleyball team once again reached the tournament finals and won runner-up honors Saturday at the Eagles Classic, hosted by Robert C. Byrd.

The Lady Bucs went 3-2-1 in their six matches at the tournament Saturday, with their only losses coming to tournament champion Gilmer County. The Lady Titans defeated B-U in two sets in the Lady Bucs’ opening match of the tournament and also swept the championship match by scores of 25-14 and 25-12.

B-U bounced back from the early loss with a pair of two-set defeats, beating East Fairmont and Lincoln, and then split a two-set match with Hampshire in their final match of pool play, earning them the No. 2 seed in their pool heading into single-elimination tournament play.

“We had a rocky start to the morning, losing our first match to Gilmer,” B-U head coach Sheena Westfall remarked. “We were running plays on offense, but again were unable to finish. We came out strong against East Fairmont and Lincoln, but we lost our momentum against Hampshire.

“I was not sure if the fact that it was homecoming night came into play throughout the day. I had to continuously try to re-focus the girls back to volleyball, which I know was hard on them.”

In the semifinals, Mackenzie Leigh led B-U with nine kills and a season-high six blocks and Lindsey Wagoner dished out 20 assists in a three-set win over the host Lady Eagles of Robert C. Byrd, the top seed in the opposite pool. B-U won the opening set 25-20, but fell in the second set by the same score. In the decisive third set, B-U pulled away for a 25-19 win to vault them into the championship game against Gilmer County.

Casey Frederick came off the bench in the semifinal win to provide six kills, 10 digs and four aces.

“I was a little nervous since RCB was undefeated in pool play and we had been up and down,” Westfall said. “I give the girls credit, they came out strong and played strong the entire game. I would say that was our best game overall so far this season.

“Casey Frederick stepped up in that game for us on defense as well as Sarah Ling and Lindsey Wagoner. Leah Blend, Mackenzie Leigh and Sydney Bush were also strong at the net for us. I believe once we can play with that tempo, consistency and aggression every game, we will be a team to watch out for.”

In the championship match, Leigh and Leah Blend combined for 9 kills and Wagoner made 10 assists, but Gilmer County limited the Lady Bucs to just 11 total kills and only two blocks.

For the tournament, Blend averaged 6.7 kills and 2.5 blocks per match, while Leigh followed with an average of 5.8 kills and 2.1 blocks per match. Wagoner reached double-digit assist totals in all six matches and averaged 13.8 per match and libero Sarah Ling averaged 6.3 digs per match, including a dozen in the semifinal win over Robert C. Byrd.

With their 3-2-1 record in tournament play, the Lady Bucs improved to 13-3-2 on the season, heading into Tuesday’s match against Preston. They will return to the court Thursday for a Big Ten match at North Marion.

The boxscores:

(Pool play)

Gilmer County 2, Buckhannon-Upshur 0

(25-17, 25-22)

B-U assists — Lindsey Wagoner 10, Courtney Reed 3, Sydney Bush 1.

B-U kills — Leah Blend 9, Mackenzie Leigh 7, Sarah Gillespie 2, Reed 2.

B-U blocks — Blend 4, Leigh 3.

B-U digs — Sarah Ling 8, Wagoner 5, Bush 4, Reed 3.

B-U aces — Wagoner 1.

Buckhannon-Upshur 2, East Fairmont 0

(25-19, 25-13)

B-U assists — Wagoner 18, Reed 2.

B-U kills — Blend 11, Leigh 8, Bush 6, Gillespie 4.

B-U blocks — Blend 1, Leigh 1.

B-U digs — Ling 7, Gillespie 4, Brieanna Polk 3, Bush 2, Reed 2.

B-U aces — Casey Frederick 2.

Buckhannon-Upshur 2, Lincoln 0

(25-9, 25-10)

B-U assists — Wagoner 14, Reed 1.

B-U kills — Blend 6, Leigh 3, Reed 3, Bush 2.

B-U blocks — Blend 2.

B-U digs — Wagoner 5, Frederick 2, Ling 2, Reed 2.

B-U aces — Wagoner 6, Ling 2, Ashley Mullens 2, Reed 2.

Buckhannon-Upshur 1, Hampshire 1

(25-23 B-U, 25-20 H)

B-U assists — Wagoner 11, Reed 2.

B-U kills — Bush 4, Leigh 4, Blend 3, Gillespie 3.

B-U blocks — Blend 3, Leigh 3.

B-U digs — Frederick 8, Ling 7, Wagoner 5, Polk 3, Reed 3.

B-U aces — Cora McDaniels 3, Reed 2, Wagoner 2.

(Tournament semifinals)

Buckhannon-Upshur 2, Robert C. Byrd 1

(25-20, 20-25, 25-19)

B-U assists — Wagoner 20, Reed 2.

B-U kills — Leigh 9, Blend 6, Bush 6, Frederick 6.

B-U blocks — Leigh 6, Blend 3.

B-U digs — Ling 12, Frederick 10, Wagoner 9, Reed 4.

B-U aces — Frederick 4, Bush 2, Reed 2, McDaniels 1, Wagoner 1.

(Championship game)

Gilmer County 2, Buckhannon-Upshur 0

(25-14, 25-12)

B-U assists — Wagoner 10, Reed 1.

B-U kills — Blend 5, Leigh 4, Bush 2.

B-U blocks — Blend 1, Reed 1.

B-U digs — Frederick 4, Ling 2, Reed 2, Wagoner 2.

B-U aces — Frederick 1, McDaniels 1, Reed 1, Wagoner 1.

For the complete article see the 09-26-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-26-2012 paper.

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