PB’s Carpenter signs with UC

Volleyball standout helped lead Lady Colts to three state titles during career

The Inter-Mountain photo by Tony Baisi Philip Barbour volleyball standout McKenzie Carpenter recently signed with the University of Charleston. Show are front row, from left to right, Diana Bibey, Cori Carpenter, Rochelle Carpenter, McKenzie Carpenter, Jamie Carpenter, Averi Carpenter, and Dee Dee Skinner. Middle row, Roger Bibey, PBHS athletic director Tammy Zimmerman, Emma Kennedy, Kilea Payne, head coach Heather Halfin, Taylor Mayle, Maddy Jones, Bailey Nestor, Shelby Collins and principal Ronald Keener. Back row, Brian Bibey, Hunter Mason, Gage Bibey, Jyra Clark-Casto, Riley Dominguez, Bryanne Tustin, assistant coach Brittany Brandon and Alyssa Hill.

PHILIPPI — Philip Barbour senior McKenzie Carpenter recently signed her letter-of-intent with Mountain East Conference member the University of Charleston.

Carpenter plans to major in exercise science in the classroom, while putting in more swings for the Lady Golden Eagles in athletics as a potential spiker on the UC volleyball squad.

West Virginia’s capitol city will not be an unfamiliar place for Carpenter to be. After all, she helped lead the Lady Colts to three consecutive double-A championships at the Charleston Civic Center during her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons before PB garnered a state runner-up spot in 2018.

“At the University of Charleston, the team instantly felt like a family to me,” Carpenter said. “I could see how close everyone was and that’s something I look for in a team. The coaches were very friendly and showed me how much they wanted me. I also like having small class sizes because it’s easier for me to learn.”

Carpenter’s place in the Philip Barbour record books has many revealing stats. Among them is the all-time leader in kill shots with a prep career total of 2,154. A top accolade was awarded to Carpenter in 2018 when she was named the West Virginia Player of the Year.

In Charleston at the state finals, Carpenter was elected to the all-tournament team all four years. After Carpenter’s first run as a freshman, she got an honorable mention all-state nod before being picked first team each year after that.

She was a multiple first team all-Big 10 Conference selection, along with being the Big 10 Player of the Year in 2017 and being elected as an all-state captain her junior and senior seasons.

Aside from four varsity stripes in volleyball, Carpenter also recorded two more letters on the hardwood as a forward on PB basketball squads her freshman and junior years. She earned an all-state honorable mention in basketball as a junior.

The student-athlete noted several thoughts about what the sport and representing Philip Barbour means to her.

“I love that you create such a strong bond with the girls you play with,” Carpenter said. “I also love the adrenaline rush when there is a long volley and your team wins the point. I love that there is always something new to learn and every play is different … you never know what to expect.

“It means more than anything to me to have represented our school. Philip Barbour is an amazing school, so being remembered at the school would mean so much. Our community is the most supportive community as well. The school always takes buses to the state tournament so that the kids can cheer us on.”

Carpenter reflected on the 2017 season, when both the volleyball and football teams were in the postseason.

“In 2017 when our football team was headed to the playoffs, they stopped by before their game to cheer us on,” she said. “So that just shows you how supportive our school and community is. Hopefully my achievements and awards pushed future players to be even better than I was so that Philip Barbour volleyball continues to be a success. I am blessed that I will be able to represent Philip Barbour next year at the University of Charleston.”