Midland plays early-morning match
ONA -- A regional runner-up usually gets a difficult draw in a state tournament.
That's the case for Cabell Midland's volleyball team. The Knights finished runner-up to Spring Valley in the West Virginia Class AAA Region IV tournament last Saturday.
When the pairings came out for the West Virginia High School Tournament, the Knights landed in the same bracket with Region I winner Parkersburg and Region II champion Musselman. The Knights open the tournament against Parkersburg at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Charleston Civic Center.
"We're here. You can't count us out yet," Cabell Midland coach Julie Brumfield said.
Cabell Midland lost four players from a year ago, so Brumfield had difficult times early on in her first year as coach.
"We had some big shoes to fill," Brumfield said. "We kind of started from scratch."
Jayden Jacobs, setter and daughter of Marshall University volleyball coach Mitch Jacobs, is one of the key players for the Knights. Brumfield also counts on middle blocker Kenzie Allen, outside hitter Mack Cassidy and Claudia Chapman, who plays on the right side.
Cabell Midland met Musselman during a tournament at Huntington High on Oct. 26. The Applemen won 2-0. They won the Huntington tournament and have not lost to an in-state opponent this season.
In the regional, the Knights survived a five-setter against Winfield in the semifinals. They won the decisive fifth set, 15-13. Spring Valley beat Cabell Midland in the finals, 3-0.
"We had a lot to prove," Brumfield said. "The Winfield win was huge. It showed we can do it. Making it to the state is a big boost. Getting out of our region isn't easy."
Cabell Midland met Parkersburg in tournment play four or five times during the season. The Big Reds won them all.
"We either play tight or bottom out," Brumfield said.
The Cabell Midland/Parkersburg winner gets the Musselman/Capital winner in the first semifinal Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Spring Valley is in the opposite bracket and meets Parkersburg South in the first round Friday at 1:30 p.m. Greenbrier East and Martinsburg are the other matchup. Those winners meet in the second semifinal which is scheduled after the 6:30 match. Semifinal winners will meet for the title Saturday at 9:30 a.m.