WELLSBURG - Championships aren't achieved by merely having great players.
There's no question it helps. But other factors, such as parental involvement and good coaching, also come into play.
Everything came together for Paden City on Saturday as the Wildcats earned their first OVAC Class A championship in six years by sweeping Weirton Madonna, 25-14, 25-18, at Brooke High School in the only title match featuring two West Virginia squads.
Paden City’s Amanda Heasley (15) goes up for a shot at the net as teammate Kelsey Loy (33) looks on during Saturday’s OVAC Volleyball Tournament at Brooke. The Wildcats topped Weirton Madonna for the Class A title.
After coming up short in the tournament the past few seasons, Paden City coach Fred King was happy to see his girls get over the hump and bring home the school's first crown since 2005, and sixth overall.
''They're a super bunch of fine young ladies,'' said King, also the school's athletics director. ''If you were watching their intensity and the hustle and the togetherness ... this team is not good by itself. It's only good because of the players.
''I guess we have the right combination.''
While Paden City is an established program, the Blue Dons are program on the rise.
Coach Joe Edmiston has turned around the Blue Dons' fortunes as of late and he said participating in the OVACs is another step in the right direction.
''Last year was the first year we made any kind of tournament ... OVACs, Mason-Dixon,'' he said.
''I'm very proud of the play of our seniors, especially my three captains - Stephanie Magnone, Sara Lyons and Hayley Warden. They kept us in the game.''
Both teams battled to a 6-6 deadlock in the first game of the best-of-3, but from there it was all Wildcats. Paden City went on a 11-4 run from there to take control.
That momentum carried over to the second game, where Paden City, winners of seven of the last eight Mason-Dixon Tournaments, jumped out to a 13-3 lead and never trailed.
''We played good, hard volleyball,'' Edmiston said. ''We lost by making a lot of little mistakes that we need to clean up before the tournament if we expect to get to Charleston.
''It was good to play in a big, loud gym and get that big-game atmosphere.''
Madonna hopes to get to where Paden City has been. The Wildcats haven't won a state title, but they've been a major hurdle for many on the road there, especially during the King era.
''You don't get here unless they're there,'' King said, pointing to the large crowd celebrating the team's title.
''There's no magic to it ... no coaching genius. It's players that love to be here."
Lynnsie Parsons scored 14 points for the Wildcats, with five kills and four digs. Graeson Baker added 10 points, four aces and four digs, while Haley Hizer had 10 points.
Dominique Craft, one of Paden City's two seniors along with Amanda Heasley, had seven points, 11 kills and seven digs.
Paden City d. Trinity
Hizer posted 14 points and six digs and Logan Cosper scored five points and dished out 15 assists as the Wildcats topped the Warriors in a semifinal.
Baker added 11 points and eight kills for the Wildcats, while Parsons and Heasley both scored six points.
Marlee Keenan had nine points and seven assists for Trinity, while Brianna Kerekes and Kayla Huckaby each scored six points.
Weirton Madonna d. St. John
25-17, 16-25, 25-21
Lyons registered 30 kills, 10 points and 10 blocks as the Blue Dons ended St. John's two-year reign as Class A champions.
Dylan Fenske had 60 assists, 25 digs and 13 points for Madonna, while Magnone scored 10 points with 32 assists and 40 digs.
Kaydie Coppa paced the Irish with 16 points and 15 assists, while Devan Carpenter had 11 points and seven digs.
Trinity d. St. John
25-14, 18-25, 25-20
Kerekes had 12 points, 10 digs, seven kills and five digs for the victorious Warriors.
Kayla Huckaby had 14 kills and 10 digs, while Tara Neely and Marlee Keenan each scored 13 points.
Coppa and Lindsee Perry each scored seven points for the Irish, while Carpenter had five.