Lady Demons' regional dreams dashed by W-V

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By Matt Birkholtz

One point is all that kept Williamstown from going to their third consecutive regional volleyball tournament appearance, as they lost in three sets to Walton-Verona, Oct. 12 at Grant County High School.
It was a match that most would have picked the Lady Bearcats as the favorites to win, but the Lady Demons gave them a game, challenging them by winning the first set 25-20, forcing Walton-Verona to win the next two sets or becoming the upset win Williamstown needed to get back to regionals.
The crowd exploded with cheers for Williamstown, including the Grant County Lady Braves who were warming up for their game against Owen County that was to follow.
“We were rooting for them, which was very odd,” Grant County senior Hannah Sammons said. “I never thought I would root for our rival, but we were against Walton-Verona, that we wanted Williamstown to win.”
As the score reached 26-25, the Lady Demons were on the cusp of victory. The atmosphere in the gym was that Williamstown was going to pull off an upset.
On the next play, a ball moved out of bounds towards the stands after being deflected off the hands of a Williamstown player and the next moment, junior Alex Prokopchak hustled towards the stands, landing on a couple of fans and making the play back to her teammates and getting the ball back over the net. The crowd exploded.
However, Walton-Verona would score to notch the game at 26-26, scoring the next two points and sealing Williamstown’s fate.
The noise went from loud cheers for Williamstown to almost complete silence. Williamstown coach Wes Staff was disappointed that he was unable to get the girls back to regionals.
“It’s really frustrating,” he said. “I am happy that they played hard. It just didn’t go our way.”
The loss marked the end of high school careers for three seniors, Tiffany Foley, Carlie Fossitt and Sara Strickland.
“This is really hard,” Fossitt said. “I have really enjoyed playing for Williamstown. We are such a small school and we have qualified for regional twice, which isn’t expected of a small school.”
On senior night Sept. 22, Williamstown faced Walton-Verona for the third time this season. According to Fossitt, the Lady Bearcats had such a big lead in the second set, that when Williamstown was scoring on botched plays by Walton-Verona, the girls were laughing that the Lady Demons were scoring points and making a small comeback that never flourished.
That laughter didn’t show against Williamstown in the district semifinals.
“They weren’t expecting this kind of game at all,” Fossitt said. “They weren’t laughing. They were scared and you could see it. I obviously think we should have won. We have more heart than they do.”
Strickland said her favorite memory out of all of the time playing for Williamstown was this game.
“Tonight, we played as a team and a family,” she said. “You could really sense us coming