The waiting game is over; Keyser volleyball starts with a bang

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Keyser's Kaitlin Heavener jumps high and pounds the ball against Northern on Wednesday. Heavener had six aces, four kills, two blocks, three digs and nine points as the Lady Tornado defeated Northern three games to zero.

KEYSER - They say good things come to those who wait. Keyser volleyball is still waiting to play the post-season games they were entitled to last year, but that’s a different story. This season, with things starting anew, COVID creeped back in to cause a delay to the season.

Nonetheless, Keyser’s three games to zero win at Northern Wednesday made the wait worth it.

25-20. 25-19. 25-18. The game scores were a little closer than expected, and while close, Keyser seemed generally to be in control throughout the entire match. The Lady Tornado also won the junior varsity match two games to zero (25-20, 25-17).

“It feels really good. After a two-week delay, I didn’t think we’d ever get a game in,” Keyser coach Kara Breedlove remarked. “We’ve been practicing for a month, minus our quarantine time, which was about five or six days. On top of the three weeks we did in the summer, it makes for a long time.”

“You figure we’ve been practicing for about seven weeks without a game, not even a scrimmage. I think they got a little antsy and they were ready to play,” Breedlove stated.

Despite the closer than expected game scores, Breedlove was very happy with the performance, especially considering it was game one action.

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 According to Breedlove, “The girls really worked together, both JV and Varsity, once they got the bugs out. I think we’re going to go into next week even stronger knowing what we can do. We just have to work out a few bugs.”

Those bugs? Mostly communication, something you expect early in the season.

“We always start out with communication being an issue. Part of the problem is they communicate, but when they’re wearing masks they can’t read lips as well as hear them.”

One things that was noticeable was a tremendous source of energy, coming both on the court and from the bench.

Breedlove took notice of that as well, “Absolutely. This team is one of those teams that when they are up, they are up. When they’re down, I have to get them back up, because when they’re up, they’re unstoppable.”

Kaelyn Kesner, Alana Wildman and Kaitlin Heavener led the way for Keyser statistically. Kesner served up five aces, had five kills, 15 assists, three digs and eight points. Wildman served up four aces, had one kill, one block, one dig and eight points. Heavener served up six aces, had four kills, two blocks, three digs and nine points.

In addition, Maddie Rhodes had three aces, three kills, one block and four points; Summer Reid had one ace, seven kills, two digs and one point; Charity Wolfe served up five aces, had one kill, one block and five points; Saige Miller added one ace and four digs; Maddy Fisher one kill, one dig and one point; Abigail Smith added one assist and one point; Rebekah Biser one kill and three digs.

With the victory, Keyser starts the season 1-0 in advance of a total of three matches slated for next week. On the schedule for next week are a home match with Petersburg on Monday, an away match at Hampshire on Wednesday, and a home match with Fort Hill on Thursday.

Now with one game under their belt, Breedlove has high ambitions for her squad, ambitions she feels can be realized, “We’re going for it all. I’ve been at Keyser as head coach for three years now. Some of these girls I’ve coached since they were in middle school. They can do it. They can take sectionals, they can take regionals, they just have to believe that they can. It starts with believing you can.”