STEUBENVILLE - Watch out for the Wildcats.
The Edison volleyball team claimed its second OVAC Tournament title in three years as the Wildcats claimed the Class 5A championship Saturday afternoon at the Crimson Center at Steubenville High School.
The Wildcats began the day by defeating Jefferson County and Buckeye 8 rival Indian Creek, 25-23, 27-25, to advance to the tournament final. In the final, Edison made the key plays down the stretch to pull out a thrilling three-game victory over Parkersburg South, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22.
The Edison volleyball team celebrates their OVAC Class 4A volleyball title on Saturday in Steubenville. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
With the two wins, the Wildcats end the regular season 10 games over .500 at 16-6.
"It means a lot," second-year Edison head coach Leah Snyder said about winning the tournament title. "I can't explain it. We went from a 6-14 season last year to a 14-6 season this year. We missed the OVAC's last year. This is special."
Individually for Edison against Parkersburg South, Katie Davidson delivered five points, five kills, 11 assists and five digs, Katelyn Pollock collected six points, one ace, 14 kills and two digs and Cassady Jarvis recorded four points, three aces, eight kills and two blocks.
Also, Caitlin Brenstuhl tallied four points, three aces, three kills, 10 assists and four digs, Kylie Smith chipped in with two points, one ace and eight digs and Hannah Johns scored two points to go along with one kill and one dig.
Finally, Alexis Gill added three blocks and one dig.
Edison entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed. Parkersburg South was seeded third. Indian Creek was the top seed in the tournament, and University was seeded second.
The Wildcats claimed the Class 3A tournament tile back in 2010. Chuck Woodward was the head coach of the Wildcats that season, and Snyder served as one of his assistants.
Edison was the No. 4 seed that year before upsetting two-higher seeds en route to winning the championship.
"It was 4 versus 1, just like it was two years ago," Snyder said. "It was a lot like this year."
In 2010, Edison upset top-seeded Buckeye Trail, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20, in the semifinals. Then in the finals, Edison defeated No. 3 seed Tyler Consolidated, 12-25, 25-23, 25-14, to win the title.
Buckeye Trail defeated No. 2 seed St. Clairsville, 25-18, 25-18, in the consolation final.
The Silver Knights knocked off the Red Devils, 25-21, 25-23, in the semifinals to advance to the championship game.
Saturday's semifinal was the third meeting this season between Edison and Indian Creek. The two teams split during the regular season. The Redskins are one of the Wildcats' main rivals.
"The girls were not pumped at all," Snyder joked about her team's level of excitement going into and after the match against the Redskins.
For the Wildcats against the Redskins, Davidson ended up with four points, two kills, one block, six assists and one dig, Pollock tallied two points, one ace, 13 kills, two blocks and three digs and Brenstuhl collected five points, one ace, one kill, one block, 16 assists and seven digs.
Also, Jarvis delivered five points, five aces, three kills and four blocks, Johns netted five points, three kills, two blocks and three digs and Smyth contributed two points, one kill and six digs.
Finally, Gill finished with two kills and five blocks.
The Patriots rallied to defeat the Hawks, 16-25, 25-16, 25-18, in the semifinals inside the Joseph Stern Gymnasium.
Indian Creek defeated University, 25-16, 25-18, in the consolation final.
Under the guidance of Snyder, the Wildcats have made a big turnaround this season.
"I have told everyone last year was my fault completely," Snyder said. "I put too much in at once."
Prior to winning the 5A championship, the Wildcats struggled in matches played on Saturdays throughout the regular season. Edison lost to Meadowbrook, Oak Glen, Beaver Local and Carrollton in matches played on the sixth day of the week.
The Golden Bears swept the Wildcats during the season.
"Today was a step forward," Snyder said. "I have been with these girls since I started. I love them to death. You would love them too."
Snyder has now won OVAC titles in volleyball at Edison as an assistant coach, a head coach and as a player. As a player for the Wildcats, Snyder won OVAC titles as a freshman in 2001 and as a senior in 2004.
"I was just looking at the banners," Snyder said. "They are not even close to feeling the same.
"We miss Chuckie. Chuckie was a motivator. He really knew how to motivator the girls. It is hard not having him here."
The Wildcats will have to wait a couple of days to find out their next opponent. Edison will play at 7:30 p.m. in an Ohio Division II Eastern District Sectional Semifinal down at St. Clairsville High School. Edison will play the winner of Monday night second's quarterfinal between East Liverpool and Meadowbrook.
The Colts defeated the Potters, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19, to claim the OVAC Class 4A title Saturday.
East Liverpool defeated Edison in sectional play last year.