CHARLESTON — Philip Barbour makes its unprecedented 22nd consecutive appearance in the state volleyball tournament today inside the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center.
During their state run, the Lady Colts have captured five Class AA state titles, including last year’s with a thrilling five-set victory over Shady Spring.
Philip Barbour, the second seed, battles No. 7 Winfield (17-18-1) at 1:30 p.m. today in quarterfinal action.
Other Class AA quarterfinal matchups set for today include No. 4 Herbert Hoover vs. No. 5 Wayne, No. 1 Shady Spring vs. No. 8 Frankfort and No. 3 Oak Glen vs. No. 6 Liberty-Harrison.
The semifinals get underway at 6:30 p.m. and the championship match set for Thursday.
The Class AAA title game begins at 11 a.m. on Thursday, followed by Class A and Class AA.
The Lady Colts bring a 52-3-1 record into state play, with the lone blemishes coming to Morgantown, Hedgesville and George Washington.
Morgantown is the second seed in the Class AAA tourney, Hedgesville is third and GW eighth.
Defending state champion Musselman is the top seed.
Coach Heather Halfin’s squad defeated Elkins and Liberty-Harrison in sectional play. They then claimed wins over Clay County and Liberty-Harrison en route to winning the regional title.
Returning first-team all-state seniors Emily Denison and Averi Carpenter lead the team.
Denison has 532 kills, 127 blocks and 73 ace serves on the season, and Carpenter has tallied 81 ace serves and 558 digs.
Denison has accumulated nearly 1,700 kills during her career.
Senior Madison Weese tops the squad in assists with 719, while MacKenna Halfin, the captain of the all-state second-team as a freshman, has 97 blocks and 480 kills and junior Katie Kennedy 83 kills and 470 assists.
Defending state champion Williamstown is seeded first in Class A. Moorefield is fifth and Pendleton County seventh.