Pilant Captains Class A First Team
Magnolia junior named all-state for volleyball
PARKERSBURG–Magnolia won its first Class A state volleyball championship and finished with a 46-7-1 record for head coach Pam Chapman.
One of the key cogs during the Blue Eagles’ title run was junior Kyndra Pilant, who was honored as captain of the all-state first team by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
While Pilant would be the first person to tell anyone volleyball is a team effort, her play and leadership stood out.
“She’s vocal in practice and vocal in games. She’s always talking to her teammates and always talking strategy,” Chapman said of Pilant, who mashed 677 kills and had 373 digs to go along with 128 blocks, 59 aces and 15 assists.
“She’s always looking at the other team’s defense and figuring out what we need to do as a team and what she needs to do as a hitter and a blocker. This year Kyndra has become a leader on the floor and she has really made a big turnaround.”
Pilant’s sophomore teammate Mady Winters, who also plays a full rotation, combined for a formidable one-two punch. Winters made the first team as well, finishing with 604 kills, 343 digs, 164 blocks, 105 aces and 10 assists.
Little Kanawha Conference Player of the Year Josey Jones, who led her team to a state runner-up finish, was one of three repeat selections on the first unit. Jones produced 443 downed spikes, had 81 blocks and 546 digs.
Aside from Magnolia, the only other program to have a second player on the first team was Tyler Consolidated with senior JoLee Walton. The Silver Knight setter was eight assists shy of 1,200 for the season and added 51 aces and 228 digs.
Paden City’s Hope Weber collected second team all-state honors and her teammate Mallory Yeater was selected as a special honorable mention.
Also grabbing special honorable mention nods were Magnolia’s Kayna Anderson, Valley’s Elizabeth Conley, Madonna’s Andrea Alimario and Clay-Battelle’s Hailey Carreon.
Honorable mention accolades went to Tyler Consolidated’s Alexa Johnson, Magnolia’s Leneica Grimm and Hundred’s Katherine Henderson.
The other two repeat honorees were Ritchie County senior Abi Haught (323 kills, 54 aces, 227 digs, 10 blocks) and Wirt County junior Kylie Stephens (557 kills, 79 aces, 74 blocks).
Williamstown, which was ousted in the state semifinals by Tyler Consolidated, placed Bethany Arnold on the first team. The senior Yellowjacket had more than 500 kills and 100-plus blocks.
A youthful Parkersburg Catholic squad reached the semifinals as well before bowing out to Magnolia. Junior libero Gracie Lowers received a first team nod. A dangerous server, the Crusaderette produced 128 aces and made 549 digs.
Also earning first-team status in single-A were a pair of seniors in Julie Ignatiadis of Huntington St. Joe and Tolsia’s Sarah Jude, who had a .328 hitting efficiency with 256 kills, 47 aces and 31 total blocks.
Helping her team reach the final weekend of the season for the first time since 2009, Doddridge County senior setter Courtney Sanford was selected as captain of the second team.
The other members of the second unit included Amanda Church of Greenbrier West, Trinity’s Rachel Rosen, Ravenswood’s Kendall Bowen, Jenna Boice of Parkersburg Catholic, Williamstown’s Kayla Bauman, Courtney Green of Greater Beckley Christian, Wirt County’s Emma Wyer and Gilmer County’s Lindsay Chapman.