FAIRMONT -The Golden Bears are headed to Charleston as regional champions.
The Oak Glen volleyball team defeated Roane County, 25-9, 25-13, 25-9, in the semifinals and Ritchie County, 25-20, 25-10, 25-21, in the finals en route to winning the West Virginia Class AA Region 1 Tournament title Saturday down at East Fairmont High School.
Weir High dropped a 25-14, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17 decision to Ritchie County to fall out of the tournament.
BOUND FOR CHARLESTON — The Oak Glen volleyball team won the West Virginia Class AA?Region 1 Tournament Saturday with victories over Roane County (25-9, 25-13, 25-9) and Ritchie County (25-20, 25-10, 25-21) Saturday to head to the state tournament.
For the Red Riders, Erin Hawthorne totaled 52 digs, Samantha McCartney 47 sets, Ontasia Petteway four digs, eight kills and two blocks and Haley McLaughlin eight digs and 51 sets.
Selena Wolverton contributed seven kills, 17 digs and three aces, Elizabeth Kush eight kills, Morgan Goff 13 digs, Michayla Dobosz two kills and four digs and Lauren Rosnick 10 digs and three kills.
"It is another step in heading to the state tournament," Oak Glen head coach Ethel Riser said. "Hopefully, it is another step on winning a state title. It means we are right on track. We are where we need to be. We are going to be one of the top seeds in the tournament. We will be playing a No. 2 team instead of a No. 1. It means a lot."
Oak Glen defeated Ritchie County in the state final last year. The Rebels had defeated the Golden Bears in the Region 1 Final heading into the state tournament.
"Three of our main starters didn't play varsity last year," Riser said. "The girls filled in, and we didn't miss a beat."
With the two wins, the Golden Bears are now 37-6 on the season.
"Overall, we played well," Riser said. "There were a few mistakes, but nothing major. It was a total-team effort. Everyone played as a team. That is what we need to have happen."
Oak Glen will now play in the state tournament beginning Friday morning at the Charleston Civic Center.
"We are where I thought we would be," Riser said. "I'm sure some of them thought we were going to be here. Most of the girls were in the same place last year except last year we were not regional champions. We were the runner-up to Ritchie County.
"Being the regional champion makes it a little easier. We won't know until probably Monday who play play on Friday."
For the Golden Bears against the Raiders, Sydney Kell collected 12 points, 48 sets and 11 assists, Morgan Poling three points, 10 kills, three blocks and two digs and Lacee Porter two points and 11 kills.
Vanessa Hissam added five kills, Abby Tice 18 points, five aces and nine digs, Jessica Stivason seven kills, Jessica Hutton two points, Kaitlyn Smith four points and six digs, Carissa Williams 18 sets and five assists and Madison Juszczak three points.
Riser said her players were not nervous heading into the regional tournament.
"No, not really," she said. "The first team was of course much easier. The second team, we already played them once, and we beaten them. I would say no, they were not really nervous."
Against the Rebels, Kell tallied five points, 55 sets and two kills, Poling eight points, six kills, seven blocks and seven digs and Porter five points, 13 kills and four digs.
Hissam scored four points and nine kills, Tice five points and 13 digs, Stivason seven kills and three blocks, Hutton three points, Smith 14 points and 13 digs, Williams 45 sets and 10 assists and Juszczak four kills and three blocks.
"Yes, the girls were very excited," Riser said about winning the regional title. "This is something we have been planning on. We are looking toward next week. We don't know what the schedule is going to be yet."
The Golden Bears are led on and off the court by their four seniors - Tice, Kell, Smith and Porter.
"The seniors definitely lead," Riser said. "They keep everyone in line. They get everyone enthused when they need to be enthused. They keep everyone calm when they need to keep calm. They are the leaders on and off the court. They take control. They lead by example. That is what they have to do."
Prior to last year, Oak Glen previously won state titles in Class AA-A back in 1997 and 1998 as well the Class AA title in 2008.
The tournament pairings will be determined by a blind draw today.