MORGANTOWN — A lot of firsts are happening for the Trinity Christian School volleyball team this year.
Head coach Anna Witt is in her first year, on Tuesday the Warriors beat Clay-Battelle for possibly the first time in school history and they are now off to a first-ever 7-0 start on the season.
“I think the girls know that they can do it,” Witt said after watching her squad dispose of the Cee Bees 25-22, 25-20. “This team has struggled to have someone to believe in them. I think that I am extremely blessed to be their coach this season and just tell the girls that they’re good enough that they can do it. I think they all found their confidence and I don’t think any of them had confidence in themselves and a team so that’s what go us this one today was team confidence for sure.”
Both Trinity and Clay-Battelle beat Webster County in the tri-match event that featured the two local squads. Game one featured several unforced errors from the Cee Bees (4-4) as head coach Matt Wood said his team needs to get back in the gym for practice.
“In the first set we had I think 13 or 14 unforced errors and the second set was a little bit better but our unforced errors with our passing and serving were just not good tonight,” Wood said.
Clay-Battelle appeared to take control of the first set when Lydia Moore served six straight points for a 15-14 CBHS lead. But that lead was short lived as the next five servers for the Cee Bees tallied just two points total.
Angelina Mayle put Trinity up for good in the first set when she recorded three points and then Rylan Sharp closed the contest with an ace.
“This is a tough place to come play,” Wood said. “With their student section and their crowd, so hopefully it opens our eyes and wakes us up a little bit.”
Clay-Battelle has won two straight sectional titles but the win on Tuesday has Witt and her Warriors thinking about unseating the reigning champions.
“This is a huge win,” Trinity’s Jillian Ben said. “They are in our section and we’re after their title.”
In the second game, it was Ben who provided the punctuation as she served the final seven points to give Trinity the victory. The Warriors were trailing 20-18 before Ben took over.
“(Jillian) is a dependable server,” Witt said. “When some of our servers are having off days or just struggling – which happens in volleyball – I know I can put her in, and she will go serve out the game. She’s a very versatile player that can be thrown in anywhere and she makes a difference on the court.”
Moore tried to disrupt Ben’s rhythm as he called two timeouts during her service, but the Warriors relied on a sagging defense and a pesky offense to pull off the victory.
Clay Battelle features several tall, athletic front-row attackers and Witt made the decision to have her team sag back and play defense.
“Our blocks were not doing anything,” Witt said. “We weren’t getting any touches on the blocks, instead we were just tipping. So as a coach, I had them pull off the net, so we didn’t have balls just drop in the middle of the floor.”
Both teams return to action this week as the Warriors look to stay perfect in a tri-meet at East Fairmont where they will also face Braxton County. Clay-Battelle travels to Hundred on Thursday.
— Story by Eric Herter