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Musselman sweeps Eagles to win sectional

November 03, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

INWOOD, W.Va. - For all the weapons Musselman's volleyball team had on its home floor Thursday night - specifically Megan Holmes, Stephanie Wood and Katie Kees - the Applemen's attack would be powerless without someone to get them all the ball.

However, with Chelsea Wheaton in the middle of everything, the Applemen need not worry about a power outage anytime soon.

Wheaton was masterful in the West Virginia Region II Section 1 championship against rival Hedgesville, dishing out 35 assists and doing more damage from the service line as Musselman swept Hedgesville for its second straight sectional title, 25-23, 25-20, 25-22.

"She's awesome," Applemen coach Shawn Martz said. "She's dynamic as a setter and she's great at the service line. It's really relieving knowing she's running the offense. We have the utmost confidence in her."

With Wheaton putting the ball right where all of Musselman's hitters like it, the Applemen kept the attack squarely on the Eagles, who more often than not were fending off hard kill attempts instead of dishing them out. Holmes had 15 kills, Wood and Kees each had nine kills and Kees added eight blocks.

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"It's definitely a lot of fun," Wheaton said about being at the center of Musselman's attack. "It makes my job a little easier knowing no matter where I set it, someone's going to put it down."

Musselman's only real hiccup came in Game 2, and the jump serving of Wheaton and Kristin Kisner bailed the Applemen out. After trailing 8-3 early in the game, Kisner had two aces to cut the lead to 9-8. Rogus had her own run of three straight aces to make the score 13-10, and Kisner later added three more aces to close the game out.

"That's been a big part of our team this year," Martz said. "When we're serving well, we can put teams on their heels, and we did that tonight."

"I'd definitely say they're a better serving team than we are," Hedgesville coach Lori Zick said. "They have a couple girls who jump serve and they utilize it well."

Virginia Rogus had 18 assists, Lindsay Hadley had seven kills and Emily Kisner added five kills for the Eagles. Zick said her team will work on "defense, communication and serve receive" prior to Saturday's Region II tournament at Hedgesville starting at 10 a.m.

"I think my girls, they've been around a little while and ... they'll be ready to play (Saturday)," Zick said.

Wheaton had 10 digs, Holmes had nine digs and Kristin Kisner added six digs for Musselman.

The Applemen - the defending Region II champion - will play the Section 2 runner-up in Saturday's semifinals, with the Eagles facing the Section 2 champion in the other semifinal. The two teams that reach the final will both qualify for the state tournament in Charleston on Nov. 10-11.

"We've played well on that floor ever since (Hedgesville) opened that new gym," Martz said. "But I don't even want to think about Hedgesville - I'm more interested in the first match, because that one gets us in the state tournament."

"We have a lot of confidence just because we have so much experience," Wheaton said. "I know we think we're good enough (to win the state title)."

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