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Lady Colts advance in sectional play

The Inter-Mountain photos by Tony Baisi Philip Barbour sophomore Alyssa Hill leaps for a block opportunity during section tournament action on Monday against Keyser.

PHILIPPI — Top seed Philip Barbour advanced in the Class AA Region I, Section 1 tournament Monday with a straight sets victory over second seed Keyser in a semifinal matchup.

Keyser took a 3-1 set advantage to win over Grafton prior to facing the hosts at center net on the hardwood.

This year’s Colt squad has amassed a record of 46-6-2. An earlier season setback to Frankfort will put PB on the road Wednesday to face sectional foe FHS at the Lady Falcons’ venue to battle for the section crown.

Regardless of the title match outcome, both Philip Barbour and Frankfort will report to the Colts’ Corral on Saturday for the Region I tournament set to start at 2 p.m. at PBHS. Seeding for the regional affair is the biggest thing at stake when the Colts compete in Mineral County on Wednesday.

“The team knows it’s go time,” tenured PBHS coach Heather Halfin said. “I hate to quote a Christmas song, but it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s time to go. Frankfort is going to be tough, we’ve split with them and they beat us here.

Philip Barbour freshman Emily Denison takes a swing on Monday evening.

“I think we’ve made some adjustments and are doing some more things right since the last time we seen them,” said Halfin.

Set scores for PB over Keyser were 25-15, 25-12 and 25-7.

Colt seniors Taylor Mayle and Riley Domingues paired up for 10 and 8 assists respectively, while playing their next to last matches on home court as the duo will have a guaranteed two more games at PB on Saturday.

Philip Barbour sophomore Alyssa Hill dialed up 9 kill shots while freshman Emily Denison recorded 6 kills. Denison also leaped to the net for 10 blocks.

Senior Emma Kennedy had 9 digs to pace the winners. Hill and freshman Averi Carpenter recorded 7 digs each.

From the service line, Mayle scored 16 points with 2 aces to boot. Carpenter landed 14 on the board that included a trio of aces, and Kennedy dented the scoreboard with 10 points (3 aces).

Halfin further noted the importance of Wednesday’s game for PB at Frankfort in regard to the Colts’ odds of advancing to the state tournament once again. Whoever wins on Wednesday at FHS will not have to face double-A power Oak Glen in the opening round at PB on Saturday. Only the winner and runner up on Saturday will advance to Charleston where the Lady Colts have collected four state championship plaques.

“I don’t think we’re the same we were when we saw them (Frankfort) earlier,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of things we are doing right and we just have to go over there and block out the noise and win. The girls know what this game means and we don’t want to take it lightly. None of us want to face Oak Glen in the first round of the regionals to even have a chance to advance to states.”