By JAY W. BENNETT, WVSWA
CHARLESTON — The best volleyball season in the history of Buffalo High School didn’t result in a Class A state championship, but there was no denying what Chloe Hale did for the Bison.
The senior masher for head coach Barry Clendenin not only helped Buffalo to a school record 45 wins, but the Bison advanced to the state finals for the first time in school history before being swept by Williamstown.
Hale, who led the Mountain State with 777 kills and a .474 hitting efficiency, was chosen captain of the all-state first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“To have the season we did and end up in the state championship match is almost unimaginable,” stated Clendenin. “It goes to show what believing in each other as a team can do.”
Hale also served at 97.5% and finished with 67 aces. She added 374 digs and 74 solo blocks.
“Chloe is the type of player that helps to define a program,” added the coach. “She made a huge impact this season even facing double blocks almost every night. I think what makes her so special is her humility.
“She doesn’t have the ego that a player with her numbers could have and is always focused on the team. For her to be recognized as the all-state captain is a well-deserved honor. She is not only a special player, but a special young lady as well.”
State champion Williamstown, which repeated for head coach Rachelle Cole, landed two seniors on the first team — Kamryn Haynes and Payton Woodard.
The libero Haynes, who was named the Little Kanawha Conference’s Player of the Year, was a 93.7% server and had 78 aces with 400 digs. Woodard, who hit .276 and had 381 downed spikes, served at 94.8%. She had 76 aces, 32 blocks and 200 digs.
Although Hale was the only player to repeat on the first team, Ritchie County senior Rebekah Rupert made the top unit for the third time in her career. The Rebel, a former two-time LKC POY who didn’t play the front row until the second week of October due to shoulder surgery, finished with 194 kills, 191 solo blocks and 99 digs.
Buffalo also landed sophomore setter Zoey Hoffman on the first team. Rarely one to make a ball-handling error, she made good on 99.3% of her sets and that resulted in 1,164 assists. She had 38 aces while serving at nearly 96%. Hoffman also had 310 digs, 66 kills, 37 solo stuffs and 52 total blocks.
Also earning a nod on the first team was Ritchie County junior Sydney Kopshina, who had 334 kills, 60 aces and 47 blocks. The Rebels finished state runner-up to Williamstown last year and were ousted in the state semifinals by Buffalo earlier this month.
Three players moved up from the second team in 2021 to garner first team honors. That trio included Moorefield senior Sterling Kump, Clay-Battelle senior Kendal Saul and Ravenswood sophomore Macy Casto, who had 825 passes on target, 79 aces and 413 kills. Kump, who helped the Yellow Jackets reach the state tournament all four years, had 373 kills, 211 digs, 58 blocks, 21 assists and 37 aces while serving at 94%.
Saul’s last year produced 115 aces, 305 assists, 261 digs and 84 kills.
The lone freshman to make the first unit was Wirt County’s Addie Stephens. The Tiger put down 542 kills and hit .358. The nearly 94% server had 63 aces, 52 assists and 72 solo blocks.
Montcalm senior Kaileigh Hodges, who had 444 kills, 327 digs and 72 aces, was named captain of the second team.
Joining her on the second unit were Buffalo senior Nora Boggess, Notre Dame senior Zyla Lanham, Tyler Consolidated junior Braeden Wall, Wheeling Central senior teammates Kamryn Conners and Nicole Reasbeck, Greenbrier West junior teammates Riley Robertson and Kadie O’Dell as well as James Monroe teammates Aliyah Clarkson (freshman) and Maggie Boroski (sophomore).
All-state plaques, which are made of wood in the shape of the state and inscribed with the WVSWA logo that includes the name, school and year of the honoree, are available to all-staters at wvswa.org or bearwoodcompany.com.
Chloe Hale, Buffalo, SR (Captain)
Kamryn Haynes, Williamstown, SR
Sydney Kopshina, Ritchie County, JR
Payton Woodard, Williamstown, SR
Rebekah Rupert, Ritchie County, SR
Addie Stephens, Wirt County, FR
Sterling Kump, Moorefield, SR
Zoey Hoffman, Buffalo, SO
Kendal Saul, Clay-Battelle, SR
Macy Casto, Ravenswood, SO
Kaileigh Hodges, Montcalm, SR (Captain)
Nora Boggess, Buffalo, SR
Kamryn Conners, Wheeling Central, SR
Aliyah Clarkson, James Monroe, FR
Zyla Lanham, Notre Dame, SR
Nicole Reasbeck, Wheeling Central, SR
Braeden Wall, Tyler Consolidated, JR
Riley Robertson, Greenbrier West, JR
Maggie Boroski, James Monroe, SO
Kadie O’Dell, Greenbrier West, JR
Special Honorable Mention
Allie Cooper, Pendleton County; Zoe Jarvis, Charleston Catholic; Georgie Inman, Williamstown; Hope Woods, South Harrison; Meagan Poticher, Greenbrier West; Jenna Blain, Magnolia; Heaven Tennant, Clay-Battelle; Abby Scritchfield, Ravenswood; Emily Dyer, East Hardy; Andlyn Corathers, St. Marys; Baylee Snodgrass, Sherman; McKenzie Thomas, Paden City; Autumn Block, Tolsia; Sidney Hinzman, Doddridge County; Ava Pitzer, James Monroe; Brooke Fuller, River View; Jada Salmons, Tolsia; Marissa Ward, Moorefield
Claire Strobl, Williamstown; Victoria Sizemore, Montcalm; Harlee McHenry, Gilmer County; Caitlynn Patterson, Clay-Battelle; Haley Hunnicutt, James Monroe; Emily Griffin, Ritchie County; Julia Lilze, Magnolia; Mia Schofield, St. Marys; Emily Besten, Notre Dame; Riah Sprouse, Williamstown; Madison Lagasse, Doddridge County; Preslee Treadway, Greenbrier West; Christee Craddock, Calhoun County; Tiana Tauber, Parkersburg Catholic; Anna Young, Pendleton County; Gabby Leadbitter, Wheeling Central; Haley Wilkinson, Wood County Christian