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Oak Glen brings home state title

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Oak Glen girls volleyball team had so much fun in its first 37 matches, but there was much more to play for in the final one.

The top-seeded Golden Bears rallied from a two-game deficit to knock off second-seeded Shady Spring, 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, 15-5, in the West Virginia Class AA state championship match Saturday.

“It was nail-biter,” Oak Glen first-year head coach Morgan Poling said. “I think the first two sets the nerves got the best of us. Before the third set we talked about having fun.”

The turning point came in the third game as the Bears pulled out a 25-23 win

“It was 23-all and Shady Spring could have won it there, but we called a timeout and scored the next two points,” Poling said.

Oak Glen controlled the action the rest of the way at the Charleston Coliseum and Covention Center..

“Once we got that third set under us, the girls let loose and had some fun,” Poling said. “We said this is it.”

Oak Glen finished the season with a 38-0 record and captured the school’s seventh state volleyball title. The ending of the season was something Poling thought could happen this year.

“Absolutely, it’s a special group of young ladies and they came together as a team,” she said. “They understand how important teamwork is and that’s why they are so successful.”

Skye Stokes powered the Bears with 25 kills. Hannah Rogers contributed 12 kills and Jaedyn Hissam made 40 assists. Mckayla Goodlin had seven digs and Brittney Gorgini had five digs.

Poling was a player on three Oak Glen state championship teams, but it feels different as a coach.

“Being a player, each one was different,” she said. “The first one as a coach is pretty special with a special group of girls. There are no words to describe it.”

Oak Glen also won West Virginia state titles in Class AA in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and Class AA/A titles in 1997 and 1998.

The Bears got a police escort into town Saturday night.

“It was definitely a season to remember,” Poling said.

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