Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Usually, the idea of hosting your own tournament is to win your own tournament and that is exactly what Coach Katie Ragan and her North Adams Lady Devils varsity volleyball squad did on July 7 as they hosted seven other teams in a warm up for a fall season that is approaching very quickly.
Making the trek to Seaman for a day of volleyball action were varsity teams from Portsmouth Clay, Eastern Brown, Reedsville Eastern, Whiteoak, Wheelersburg, Piketon, Goshen, and the host Lady Devils. the format for the day was a morning of pool play where each team played three matches and then moved into a single elimination tournament seeded from pool play results for the rest of the day. All of the matches were best two out of three to 25 points. If a third set was required, it went to 15 points.
In the pool play, the Lady Devils were matched up with Wheelersburg, Piketon, and Goshen and went 3-0 against those opponents, winning five sets and losing just two. North Adams topped Piketon 15-25, 25-20, 16-14, then defeated Goshen 23-25, 27-25, 15-8, and finally topped Wheelersburg 25-21, 25-21. Portsmouth Clay was the top seed coming out of the other side of pool play.
In the opening round of the “one and done” tournament, North Adams defeated Whiteoak, moving them to the semi-finals where they got past Reedsville Eastern. In the bottom bracket, Portsmouth Clay topped Goshen, while Piketon defeated Eastern Brown, and then Clay knocked off Piketon to advance to the championship round against the Lady Devils. In the final match of the day, it was the host Lady Devils defending their home turf, taking down Clay to claim the title of “champion” of their own pre-season tourney. The 2016 regular season will begin in late August with North Adams still riding a 39-match winning streak in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.