Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Clay Battelle and Trinity advance to Mason-Dixon semifinals

BLACKSVILLE — The Mason-Dixon Conference volleyball tournament got underway on Wednesday night in Blacksville at Clay Battelle High School as eight schools gathered to fight for the title with the Cee-Bees and fellow Monongalia County resident Trinity Christian Warriors both earning 3-0 victories.

With the wins, each advanced to tonight’s semifinals to battle for a spot in the championship match which will take place to conclude the evening.

The Cee-Bees will face off against South Harrison who knocked off Notre Dame 3-2 in a five-set thriller to kick off the evening, while the Warriors will battle Valley in the second semifinal.

Trinity met Paden City in the opening round and enjoyed an opening-round sweep 25-11, 25-7, and 25-9. Head coach Anna Witt says she is pleased with her team’s effort last night and to prepare for the tournament setting in the weeks leading to the conference tournament.

“We knew this tournament would be competitive and we didn’t want numbers or rankings to have an effect on us at all,” she said. “We came in with the mindset to play whoever we have to and giving them our best and carrying that into tomorrow.”

The tournament setting is something that the teams will also see next week as postseason play begins with sectional tournaments where the season comes to an end for a lot of teams. Many of the Mason-Dixon teams share sections and regions and it’s a good tune-up for next week both mentally and physically, Witt says.

“We are getting some good reps in on the court and mentally as well,” she said. “We are able to not only play some of these teams this week but also able to watch the others and see how they are running and playing at the moment.”

The Cee-Bees also cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Hundred Hornets to close the night. After giving up an ace to open the match in the first set, the hosts fired off a 12-3 scoring run and never looked back on their way to closing the first set 25-12.

The second set began the same as the first with C-B jumping out to an early lead, 7-2. Strong serving, solid defense, and an aggressive offensive attack seemed to be a deadly trio that the Hornets couldn’t overcome. The Cee-Bees won the second set 25-11 and went on to close the match out in the third set 25-10. After leading 7-4 early on C-B scored 18 of the final 24 points to close the match 3-0.

“We played well tonight and are feeling ready for tomorrow,” C-B head coach Matthew Wood said. “If we continue to play fundamentally sound volleyball and play smart we will be fine and give ourselves a chance tomorrow. We are using this week to get used to the tournament pressure and get the mental state where it needs to be, we will also see some of these teams in those tournaments next week so it’s important for us to keep getting better.”

The Cee-Bees and South Harrison will open the evening with the first semifinal at 6 p.m., followed by Trinity and Valley. The two semifinal winners will conclude the night in the championship match.