Keeping up the momentum: Lady Tornado wins over the Vikings

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
The Keyser volleyball squad excitingly celebrates a point in their victory Monday.

KEYSER - After a long wait, Keyser volleyball started the season off with a bang, defeating Northern on the road in three straight games. On Monday, Keyser had the opportunity to keep that momentum going as they hosted Petersburg, and keep that momentum they did, by defeating the Vikings three games to one to take the match.

Petersburg didn’t make it easy, however, as they were ultra-competitive in all but the last game. Keyser took game one by a score of 25-23, and game two 27-25. The visitors from Grant County then rallied to take game three 25-20. To their credit, Keyser quickly dispatched any hope Petersburg had of coming back with a decisive 25-12, match-deciding victory in game four.

“Petersburg is a scrappy team. I expected a little more swings from them, but even so, they were placing the ball really well, and showing us where we need to step up our game. They showed us where our game was weak, so I’ll be looking at tape and making some improvements before Hampshire,” Keyser coach Kara Breedlove stated after the match.

It was a big win for Breedlove, but more particularly for the Keyser program.

“This win was a big win. I’ve coached at Keyser High School, this is my fifth year, and it’s the first time we’ve beat Petersburg. It was a big win for us. I knew we could do it going in, but it was tight. We won the first two games by two points and then lost the third game. I was a little concerned,” Breedlove stated.

According to Breedlove, however, “They have the power and drive to win and they knew that they could get out there and do it. It’s like I said last time, if they believe they can, they do every time.”

Kaelyn Kesner led the way for Keyser with a huge performance. Kesner finished with 20 points, had eight aces, one kill, 16 assists, and four digs. Alana Wildman had one point, one ace, and four kills; Kaitlin Heavener added four points, nine kills and two digs; Maddie Rhodes contributed two points, eight kills, and one block.

Summer Reid added four points, to aces, five kills and two digs; Charity Wolfe added six points, four aces, and three kills; Saige Miller added one point, one ace, and six digs; Amber Smith contributed six points, two aces and one dig; Abigail Smith had four points, one ace, one kill, two assists and two digs; Rebekah Biser added four digs; Cameron Simpson added one point.

Keyser was also victorious in the junior varsity match against Petersburg. The junior Tornado actually started game one with a close, two-point, 26-24 loss. They would rebound, however, winning games two and three convincingly, 25-17 and 25-11.

Makayla Gillaspie led the way with 13 points, six aces, one kill, and 10 assists. Amaya Bartlett added four points, two aces, and two kills; Lily Saville added seven points, five aces, three kills, one assist, and two digs; Rylee Mangold had 10 points, eight aces, two kills, and one dig; Kendall Knotts two points, two aces, and four digs.

Miley Portillo added five points, four aces, and six digs; Na’que Montgomery added six kills; CiCi one dig; Faith Hamric had five kills; Mya Greene added two digs; Kiara Kesner added one point, and one kill; Cienna Clark added one dig.

Keyser (2-0) next traveled to Hampshire on Wednesday to take on the Trojans, and hosts Fort Hill on Thursday.

According to Breedlove, “If they play the way they played tonight, well, I’d like to see them step it up again, we need a little more offense going on. If we can get our offense going, we can chalk up the wins and end the week with a 4-0 record.”