Madonna takes out Weir in four to claim trophy

WEIRTON – Blue is the color of Weirton.

The Madonna volleyball team entered its match against city-rival Weir looking to sweep the season series and claim the city championship.

Madonna achieved both of its goals as the Blue Dons defeated the Red Riders in 25-11, 25-22, 21-25, 25-7, to win the City Championship Game Thursday night inside the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse.

With the win, the Blue Dons were able to bring the trophy, sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club of Weirton, to Madonna.

“It is amazing,” Madonna (23-3) head coach Jennifer Ewusiak said about winning the city championship. “The girls played well. They wanted to win it. They have played together well all season. This is pretty fantastic.”

Weir won the trophy in each of the last two seasons. The Red Riders swept the Blue Dons in 2011, while Weir won in four games in 2012.

“This match was very different than the first one,” Weir head coach Carrie Magnone said. “From a coach’s standpoint, we just didn’t fight as hard as we did the last time. We still fought. We just didn’t play with the same intensity and passion that we had last week.”

The Blue Dons rallied to defeat the Red Riders in five games last week inside the Bill Barrett Gymnasium.

“I didn’t see anything different,” Magnone said. “They didn’t do anything differently.”

Individually for Madonna, Monica Bragg recorded two aces, four blocks, three digs and 22 kills; Emily Pietranton ended up with six aces, one assist and 19 digs; and Chloe Conner contributed four aces, 25 assists and three digs.

Gabrielle Sellitti tallied one ace, seven digs and one kill; Taylor Thompson collected three aces and six digs; and Amanda Paul added 23 digs and two kills.

Eva Bowser delivered one block and three kills and Courtney Kaczmarek produced one ace and one dig.

“Weir is a good team,” Ewusiak said. “I am happy with how we played.”

Individually for Weir, Kim Persina produced 16 points, two aces, five assists, 12 kills, two blocks and seven digs; Ontasia Petteway tallied four points, three aces, one kill, four blocks and five digs; and Selena Wolverton netted five points, one ace, four kills and five digs.

Elizabeth Kush contributed three points, eight assists, three kills and two digs; Michayla Dobosz delivered four points, three aces one kill and two digs; and Samantha McCartney collected three points, one ace and 89 sets.

Megan Longwell ended up with one point, 28 sets and two digs; Morgan Goff finished with one point and 12 digs; and Samantha Tate added 10 digs. Hannah Hinerman recorded seven digs.

The match was not only for the city championship, but it was also Weir’s annual Pink Game.

The Blue Dons controlled Game 1 from the start.

Madonna scored 13 of the first 14 points and cruised to a 1-0 lead.

The Blue Dons got off to another fast start in Game 2.

Madonna scored the first three points and led 6-2 early on in the game. The Red Riders rallied, and Weir eventually came all the way back to take an 18-17 lead. That was the first time the hosts led in the match.

Later, the Red Riders 22-21, but the Blue Dons scored the final four points for a 2-0 cushion.

Madonna once again scored first in Game 3, but this time the outcome would be different.

While Madonna made the plays down the stretch to win the first two games, Weir stepped it up at the end of the third game, and the Red Riders were able to record the victory to cut their deficit in the match to 2-1.

Unfortunately for the girls in the pink jerseys, the momentum they built by winning Game 3 did not carry over into Game 4.

Madonna jumped out early, and the Blue Dons extended their lead the rest of the way en route to winning the game, the match and the city championship.

“This one is a lot tougher,” Magnone said. “The good thing is we were able to raise money for a good cause. The girls worked hard at that.”

The Blue Dons were able to put the disappointment of not winning an OVAC title behind them heading into their match against the Red Riders.

Madonna entered the OVAC Class 1A Tournament as the No. 1 seed as a result of the Blue Dons winning the regular season championship. Madonna defeated Trinity Christian in the semifinals before falling to St. John Central in the tournament final last Saturday at Big Red.

“That was a disappointment,” Ewusiak said. “We played a good match out there tonight. We came ready to play.”

Both teams are scheduled to play Monday night at home on Senior Night. Madonna will play Magnolia, while Weir will play Wheeling Park.

Weir will play Saturday at the Parkersburg South Tournament and enter the tournament with two wins on the season.

“As long as we keep improving, that is what I want,” Magnone said. “Our record is what it is. I am more concerned about the girls progressing as ballplayers. We need to get better. They need to get more confident. That is what is important to me.”