Volleyball notebook - Getting a playoff feeling

October 17, 2000

Volleyball notebook - Getting a playoff feeling

With the regular season starting earlier and earlier, it seems appropriate that the playoffs in the Tri-State area got underway last night.

West Virginia's state championship began with first-round sectional action across the Eastern Panhandle Tuesday night, with three girls teams and one boys team in action.

The boys sectionals in Region II have been rearranged, much to the disadvantage of the four area schools. Defending champion Morgantown and highly ranked University were added to Section 1, meaning Martinsburg fell to the No. 3 seed.

Musselman, seeded seventh in the 10-team field, hosted Hampshire Tuesday night, with the winner traveling to No. 2 University on Thursday night. In the Panhandle Thursday, the Bulldogs host No. 6 Frankfort at 7:15, while No. 5 Jefferson goes to No. 4 Hedgesville at 6. The top-seeded Mohigans get the Keyser-Preston winner.


The sectional semfinals will be at the two highest remaining seeds on Saturday - "We'll all be going to Morgantown," cracked Martinsburg coach Jason DeBaugh - with the section final Tuesday. That winner will play the champion of Section 2 (which includes Buckhannon-Upshur, Elkins and the Fairmont schools) on Oct. 28 at Buckhannon.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> On the girls side, things remained a bit more conventional. Jefferson is the top seed in Section 1, followed by Martinsburg, Hedgesville, Frankfort, Musselman, Keyser and Hampshire. The final six seeds all played Tuesday night, with the semifinals held at the highest seeds on Thursday.

Jefferson will host the Musselman-Frankfort winner and Martinsburg and Hedgesville will likely get their third matchup of the season in the other semifinal. The section final will be Saturday, and the winner will face the winner of Section 2, which includes powerhouses Morgantown, University and Buckhannon-Upshur, in the region final on Oct. 28, also at Buckhannon.

The state tournament has been moved to Beckley this season, away from its usual place in Wheeling Park. The girls semifinals will be at 9 a.m., Friday, Nov. 3, with the boys semifinals starting at 4 p.m. The championship games will be at 11 and 3 on Saturday.

* Step right up

Williamsport boys coach Stan Stouffer was breathing a lot easier last Tuesday night for two reasons.

While he was very happy about passing a kidney stone just the day before, the play of emergency goalkeeper Jeremy Draper during the Wildcats' 4-2 victory over North Hagetstown kept the smile in place.

"He's a good keeper and he's been playing field on the JV team," Stouffer said. "But he's got the cat-like reflexes, you saw the saves he did make tonight. He moves quickly and did a good job."

It was the first game for Draper, a freshman who was forced in after starting keeper Ryan Martin injured his leg during an overtime win over Clear Spring on Oct. 7.

"He's played club for a good many years, so we knew he was good," Stouffer said. "We almost had no choice."

Sounds like a good choice to us.

* A little fix-it

The Washington County Public Schools girls tournament final between Smithsburg and Williamsport, schedule for Friday at Williamsport, has been postponed due to previous rainouts. No date is scheduled, and the game may be pushed back until after the MPSSAA playoffs.

* Coming up

Monday: Boys and girls draws announced for the MPSSAA Tournament.

This week's notebook compiled by staff writer Dan Spears

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