PHILIPPI - Philip Barbour and a talented group of seniors will be on a mission when the state volleyball tournament begins Friday morning at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Colts will be making their 12th straight showing in the tournament. Their last and only title came back in 2005.
"This has been a special group to coach," Philip Barbour coach Heather Halfin said. "There's been something different about this team than other ones I have coached in the past.
The Inter-Mountain file photo
Philip Barbour players celebrate during a sectional victory over Liberty. The Colts will begin state tournament play Friday at the Charleston Civic Center.
"They just have that mentality of wanting to win."
Led by senior Nikki Shriver, a candidate to win the state's player of the year award, the Colts rebounded from a loss to Robert C. Byrd in the sectional title game last Thursday to take the regional tournament just two days later.
"It would be amazing to win a state championship," Shriver said. "We've been to the tournament all four years I've been here and we've had the talent.
"It's my last chance and it would be awesome to share (a state title) with my teammates and everyone who has supported us."
Other seniors on the roster include Hannah Stewart, Morgan Stemler, Katie Mahoney and Mariah Davis.
The remainder of the teams competing in Class AA include defending state champion Oak Glen, Clay County, Ritchie County, Indepenence, Herbert Hoover, Westside and RCB.
Philip Barbour will begin play at 8:30 a.m. Friday against Independence. The winner will face Oak Glen in the 6:30 p.m. semifinals.
The championship game is set for Saturday.
Pendleton County and East Hardy also qualified in Class A.
The Wildcats will meet Greater Beckley Christian on Friday, while the Cougars battle Man.
The schools competing in AAA are Cabell Midland, Capital, Parkersburg, Musselman, Spring Valley, Parkersburg South, Greenbrier East and Martinsburg.
Defending state champion George Washington was upset in sectional play, along with Class A champ Williamstown.
The rest of the Class A field includes Charleston Catholic, Tyler Consolidated, Wirt County and Magnolia.
Saturday's Class AAA title game is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., followed by Class A and Class AA.