Local Sports, Sports

UHS falls short of sectional title, but earns a shot at states in regional finals

MORGANTOWN – The University High volleyball team defeated Buckhannon-Upshur in a 3-0 sweep before falling 3-0 to Bridgeport in the finals of the Region 1 Section 2 tournament Tuesday night.

The win in the opening match secured a spot for the Hawks to play for an appearance in the state tournament this Saturday in the Region 1 finals hosted by Morgantown High School, the team UHS will play after the Mohigans defeated Wheeling Park in the Section 1 tournament.

Head coach Nick Lusk and his young team saw a lot to build on in two competitive matches, despite the outcomes being sweeps.

“I thought we battled and competed tonight, especially in the first set (of the Bridgeport match),” said Lusk after both matches had concluded. “The thing about us is that we dig ourselves a hole in every single set and you just can’t do that against good teams.”

The shovels were out early for the Hawks against the Lady Bucs, as UHS dropped 8 of the opening 10 points. After trailing the entire first set, the hosts battled back to tie the score at 19. Then, gaining a lead they wouldn’t surrender.

UHS rode the wave of momentum from coming out victorious in a close-first set straight through the next two, winning both the second and third by a score of 25-15.

The Hawks would then face off with BHS for the Region 1 Section 2 championship after the Indians swept Preston 3-0.

UHS would open the title match in opposite fashion from the first, this time earning an early lead 6-4. The Indians would battle back however, and eventually earned their first lead 10-9.

The lead grew to as much as seven for BHS before the Hawks found their rhythm. Once they did, the lead began to decrease rapidly. From seven to just two, UHS found itself on serve and fighting for a crucial first set win.

Experience would make a difference for the Indians as they earned a tough 25-23 win in the opening set.

“They were flying around all over the place and we were caught a little off guard,” Lusk said. “We make a good pass, or a block and then make one mistake and we let it get to us. We have eight sophomores and are playing a young roster, it’s stuff we just have to learn to eliminate.”

BHS won the second set by a score of 25-15, then the third 25-10 to earn the section 2 title and move on to face Wheeling Park in the regional tournament on Saturday.

The Hawks will now move on for a matchup with rival MHS with a spot in the state tournament on the line.

With the Mohigans being one of the stronger teams in class AAA, Lusk knows his team will need to put its opponent on the defensive in order to win.

“We have to cut down the mistakes and put them on the defensive,” he said. “We were on the defensive all night tonight and scrambling but if we can flip that around we can give ourselves a shot.”

UHS and MHS will face off from the Rowdie Center at MHS Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

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