Volleyball tournament set for Saturday at PHS

PARKERSBURG – The Jack Stephens Summer Invitational volleyball tournament will feature nine teams with pool play beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday inside Parkersburg’s Memorial Fieldhouse.

Veteran Big Red head coach Carl Harnish’s squad will be competing in a tournament as a team for the first time during the three-week summer coaching period.

PHS boasts 10 seniors on this year’s squad, including hitters Alexandra Dils and Samantha Shingleton. The biggest question mark for the red and white will be replacing setter Lyxi Reeder.

“We’re dominated with seniors and the girls are really working hard this summer,” said Harnish, who is expected to feature a 6-2 offense with Jordan Lallemont and Tiffany Noland handling the setting duties.

“We haven’t had a game since last season so I don’t know what we will be doing. They are trying to get in better shape and are really working and running.”

Fans wanting to attend the tournament can do so for an admission price of $3 for adults. Students are free.

The tournament, which will advance all squads out of pool play, features Parkersburg’s ‘A’ team in one pool along with Ritchie County and George Washington.

Three-time defending Class AA state champion Oak Glen will be in a pool along with Parkersburg’s ‘B’ team and defending Class AAA state champion Musselman, which features reigning West Virginia state player of the year Taylor Lord.

“Traditionally, we come down there every year,” said Musselman head coach Shawn Martz. “Usually they have 12 teams. This group has been together since they were 9 and 10 years old and have been to three national championships in club and they got a ton of experience.”

Lord already has given a verbal committment to play for Division I Robert Morris next season.

The other pool features a trio of local programs in Parkersburg South, Tyler Consolidated and Marietta.

“The girls are excited and this should be interesting,” Harnish added. “We’re down this year (in numbers). Wednesday we had 20 kids come to practice, but most times we’ve had about 15 to 16. It’s hard to do both basketball and volleyball.”

Each match from pool play through the tournament will be a best-of-three sets.