Spring Valley to face Musselman
HUNTINGTON — Spring Valley opens the WVSSAC Class AAA state volleyball tournament against a familiar foe—Musselman—when play begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. in t the Charleston Civic Center.
The Timberwolves and Applemen faced each other in the state championship in 2017, a match won by Musselman. Additionally, the two schools met in the 2011 state championship which the Timberwolves won.
In most years, winning the Class AAA State Championship in volleyball meant having to go through Musselman to earn the title.
Besides the 2017 state championship, Musselman captured state crowns in 2016, 2014, 2013, 2010 and 2008. Additionally, Musselman was state runner-up in 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Spring Valley defeated Musselman in the regular season match, 2-0, at Huntington High in the Spike Fest Tournament.
This year, the two schools open the state championship run with the tournament’s first match. Each of the Class AAA first round matches will be on Court No. 2.
Head coach Cadara Shreve and her Timberwolves will be attempting to rebound following its only loss of the season in the Class AAA, Region IV finals against Cabell Midland.
“We are very confident as a team and are super-excited to play Musselman in the first round,” senior co-captain Brooke Smith said. “Last year was a great experience, but this year we are definitely hungry for the win.”
Musselman had its own struggles in the postseason.
After dominating Hedgesville in the regular season, the Applemen were upset by the Eagles in the sectional round, but rebounded with a win over that same squad to capture the Region II championship.
Spring Valley is led by co-captains Alexa Ball, Brooke Smith, and Meagan Camden. All are seniors with Camden having given a verbal commitment to Marshall, Smith a verbal to West Virginia State and Ball to Shawnee State.
Fellow seniors Grace Allen and Caitlin Null as well as a cast of younger players such as Grace Sullivan, Katie Caudill, Caroline Asbury and Kennedy Stanley make up the core of the Spring Valley team.
Shreve referred to her Timberwolves squad early in the year as, “a defensive group of girls.” Additionally she praised the play of Asbury and Stanley as missing pieces that emerged early in the year to fill roles.
If Spring Valley, champions of the Mountain State Athletic Conference and champions of Region IV, Section 2, advance past Musselman, they will face the winner of St. Albans and Morgantown in the semif inals, which would also be Friday. The state championship will be Saturday.