Timberwolves eye title
SPRING VALLEY -- Spring Valley High School senior Megan Morrison has been looking forward to this weekend for a year.
In 2012, Morrison sat on the bench in street clothes and watched George Washington eliminate the Timberwolves in the semifinal round in the West Virginia High School Volleyball Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center. A knee injury suffered during a club practice in April sent her to the sideline for six months and 10 days.
The 2013 State Tournament starts Friday and Morrison will be in uniform this time when the Timberwolves meet Parkersburg South in a Class AAA quarterfinal at 1:30 p.m.
"I've been thinking about this all season," Morrison said Monday morning after practice. "It's good to know I can help now to win. Last year I could tell them things. Now I can do it."
Spring Valley is in the State Tournament for the fifth time. The Timberwolves advanced with a 3-0 win over Cabell Midland in the Region IV finals. The Knights will meet Parkersburg in a quarterfinal match Friday at 8:30 a.m.
"We realize we have to focus up," Morrison said. "This is totally different. Lose and you go home."
Other first-round matchups are Musselman vs. Capital (8:30 a.m.) and Greenbrier East vs. Martinsburg (1:30 p.m.).
Spring Valley defeated Parkersburg South in a match early in the season.
Spring Valley met Musselman in a tournament at Huntington High on Oct. 26. Musselman won 2-0 (25-20, 25-9) and then defeated Parkersburg 2-0 to win the championship. The Applemen beat Hampshire (3-0) and Martinsburg (3-0) to win the Region II title on Saturday. That's nine straight regional crowns for them.
"It helped to play them," Morrison said. "They're a good team."
Timberwolves coach Joy Bailey said Morrison is extra excited about the weekend. Morrison was a sophomore when Spring Valley won the state in 2011.
"It was tough on her last year," Bailey said. "She's like a little assistant coach. It's just you want her on the floor."
Morrison, along with fellow seniors Darry Ross and Allyson Meadows, served as team captains this season. This season, the 5-foot-9 Morrison has seen action as a setter, a position she hadn't played since her freshman year. She's also a middle blocker.
"She's clicking now," Bailey said.
Freshman Kara Cole has emerged as a top setter as well.
Bailey said she had a heart-to-heart talk with the team prior to the regional.
"They feel a sense of urgency now," she said. "The message. ... refuse to lose, believe in yourself. The last couple of practices things have picked up."
Bailey hopes the players will receive support from fans in Charleston. In football, the Timberwolves are in the Class AAA playoffs and have a first-round game Saturday at Martinsburg.
"We'd love to have the support of the Spring Valley community," Bailey said. "It pumps up the girls to see familiar faces in the stands cheering them on."