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3 Guys Before The Game – WVU Volleyball Coach Jen Greeny Visits (Episode 554)

She was a top-5 national basketball recruit in high school, but she decided to play volleyball instead.

She hired a former professional baseball player, who never played volleyball, to join her first coaching staff.

Jen Greeny, West Virginia’s new volleyball coach, has made some surprising decisions during her career and they’ve all worked fantastically.

Now six months into her new job in Morgantown, the building of the WVU program is operating at full speed. The new coach knows the challenges that lie ahead, but her experience gives her the confidence to know she will succeed.

In this episode, Greeny visits Brad Howe and Tony Caridi for an in-depth conversation on her career and decision to make Morgantown her new home.

Three Guys Before The Game is sponsored by — Komax Business Systems  —-  GoMart   — – and Lou Wendell Marine Sales.

Don’t forget to check out Three Guys merchandise.

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Mountaineers eliminated on Day 2 of the Big 12 Tournament with 8-4 loss to Kansas State

For the third consecutive year, the WVU baseball team was eliminated from the Big 12 Tournament in just two games. The Mountaineers fell to Kansas State, 8-4 Thursday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Tex.

The Mountaineers jumped out to a quick lead with a three-run first inning. Brodie Kresser opened the scoring with a two-run single to send Logan Sauve and JJ Wetherholt to the plate. Later in the inning, Sam White sent Reed Chumley to the plate on a sacrifice fly.

However, Kansas State put seven runs on the scoreboard in the fourth inning to take a lead the Wildcats would not relinquish. The teams traded runs late with the Wildcats adding a run in the sixth and WVU scoring in the bottom of the ninth.

David Bishop drove in three runs for the Wildcats (32-23) while Brady Day drove in a pair of runs.

Owen Boerema (6-3) went the distance on the hill for K-State. He struck out ten batters, walked two and gave up four hits.

Starting pitcher Hambleton Oliver took the loss for WVU as he fell to 2-2 on the season. He allowed five runs in three innings of work. Robby Porco, Cole Fehrman, Luke Lyman, Chase Meyer and Joseph Fredericks all entered the game in relief for West Virginia.

West Virginia (33-22) awaits the NCAA Tournament Selection Show Monday at noon. The Mountaineers are seeking their second consecutive spot in the field of 64.

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Photo gallery: University rallies to defeat Greenbrier East, 11-9

(Photo gallery by Teran Malone)

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Trailing 9-4 after five innings and by three runs entering the seventh, University had its work cut out against Greenbrier East in the Class AAA state tournament opener at The Rock.

The Hawks offense then delivered in a major way, scoring five runs in their final at bat, including a bases-clearing triple from Carley Voithofer that made all the difference in an 11-9 victory against the Spartans.

Voithofer, who entered as a pinch-hitter for Olivia Masoner, earlier in the game, finished 2-for-2 and drove in five runs to help put the Hawks in the winner’s bracket. 

Until Voithofer’s bases-clearing triple, the only University (23-9) lead was at 2-1 in the middle of the fourth, and Greenbrier East (21-10) immediately answered with four runs in the bottom of that inning to go back in front.

Bri Royce added three hits in the win, while Adalyn Brown and Maddie Campbell had one hit and scored twice.

Each team finished with 12 hits.

Sophia Lehosit was credited with the win after allowing six hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings. All four runs were unearned.

Campbell also pitched in the victory and was tagged with five runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings. 

Kayla Bartley threw seven innings in defeat and struck out seven with a pair of base-on-balls.

The Spartans’ Taylor Boswell and Lily Carola each accounted for a home run.

Boswell finished 2-for-4, scored twice and drove in three runs, while Carola had four RBI.

Alanis McClary added three hits in defeat.

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Colaw pitches and hits Petersburg past Buffalo, 3-2

(Photos by Teran Malone)

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Sam Colaw’s walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh lifted Petersburg over Buffalo, 3-2 in the second game of the WVSSAC Class A state softball tournament.

With the bases empty and two out in the seventh, Cheyenne Sites reached on an error to give Colaw and at bat with a chance to win the game. Colaw connected on a two-strike, outside pitch and drove it off the fence in right field. Sites scored from first base with the game’s winning run.

“I have all the confidence in Sam,” said Petersburg head coach Dwayne Hedrick. “I was hoping we would get a runner on. They have a miscue and gave us an opportunity. All I am thinking is that if we get somebody on, Sam can hit a gap.”

Colaw went the distance in the circle for the Vikings (26-8). She allowed six hits and struck out five batters.

“We had a couple innings where I think she threw eight pitches. That was to her advantage. And she had to fight through a couple innings there. She hung tough and it was just a super job for her.”

PHS jumped out to an early lead in the third inning when Ella Chew connected for a two-run double. Buffalo (18-13) answered with runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Dara Harmon hit a run-scoring single and Kiera Cochran’s squeeze bunt scored Kimberly Dillman to even the score in the sixth.

Dillman pitched a complete game for the Bison. She struck out nine batters.

The Bison will face Midland Trail in an elimination game Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Petersburg will face St. Marys immediately after to earn a spot in Thursday’s final.

“We put a good schedule together,” Hedrick said. “We have been tested and tested and tested all year. This type of game, we are just kind of used to. We played some big schools hoping that when you get here, that you don’t get rattled and you can hang tough.”

 

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Keyser starts strong, holds off Bluefield, 17-14

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Offensive fireworks were on display early and often in the Class AA state tournament between Keyser and Bluefield at The Rock at Little Creek Park.

Ultimately, Keyser’s nine runs in the first inning paved the way in a 17-14 victory, though not without a valiant effort from Bluefield, which countered with four runs in its first trip to the plate and scored in all but one inning.

“Coming down here for the first time since 2012 and getting a win is huge,” Keyser head coach Colton Jones said. “We’ve been preaching to them at practice all week to believe in themselves and get the first one to guarantee us to get to Thursday. Once you get to Thursday, anything can happen, so I’m extremely proud of my team.”

Each of the first five Keyser batters reached base, including a three-run home run from No. 3 hitter Taylor Likens — her 17th long ball of the season.

Suzy Cosenza added a two-run double later in the first to up the lead to 5-0, while Likens drove in her fourth and fifth runs of the inning with a two-run double herself, though the final out of the inning was recorded at the plate on that play.

“That’s the type of hitter she is,” Jones said. “She’s the best hitter on our team and has a lot of power and hits all over the field. She works extremely hard and Taylor is a great kid. She’s a good asset to our program and works so hard, so I’m proud of her for stepping up and being a leader today.”

Just like Keyser had done, Bluefield managed to have each of its first five hitters reach base when it came to bat, including consecutive singles and three straight base-on-balls, the latter two of which brought in the Beavers’ first two runs.

Bluefield scored twice more in the opening frame to cut its deficit in half. 

The Golden Tornado immediately answered back with five runs in the second, first scoring on a Cosenza single, and later adding two runs on separate plays — a groundout that scored a run, while an error led to a second, and a sacrifice fly that plated a run, while another error allowed the 13th Keyser run to score on that play.

Bluefield got to within seven by scoring twice in the second — first on Grace Richardon’s triple and again on an Izzy Smith single.

Smith, the Beavers’ pitcher, overcame early struggles to keep the Golden Tornado from scoring in the third, fourth and fifth frames, including escaping a bases loaded jam in the fourth.

The Beavers’ bats continued to help them get back into the game during that stretch, including a run-scoring single from Abby Richardson in the third and two more runs in the fourth on a Cara Brown groundout and Sophie Hall single that cut the deficit to four.

“They’re a seasoned group and it’s a veteran group,” Bluefield head coach Justin Hall said. “They stayed patient and attacked the ball the way they’re supposed to attack the ball.”

The lone scoreless inning of the matchup came in the fifth, and was immediately followed by Keyser adding to its lead with a four-run sixth.

After Likens was intentionally walked that inning to load the bases, Smith struck out Rylee Mangold for the second out, but Bibs Felton followed with a sharp single to plate a pair.

A wild pitch and error later in the sixth allowed the Golden Tornado to score their 16th and 17th runs, respectively, though the Beavers still wouldn’t give in.

Instead, BHS answered back with a four spot of its own to pull back to within four by the end of the sixth. That frame was keyed by run-scoring singles from Abby Richardson, Taylor Maybry and Madison Lawson, while Grace Richardson provided a sacrifice fly.

However, with the tying run at the plate in the form of Brown, KHS pitcher Leighton Johnson kept her poise and induced a ground ball to shortstop for the final out.

When Smith prevented KHS from scoring in the seventh, the Beavers were still within striking distance when they came to bat that inning.

Audra Rockness drew a one-out walk and No. 9 hitter Abigail Matthews followed with a single to put the tying run on deck. 

Abby Richardson drove in what proved to be the final run on a groundout, before Maybry grounded out to short to seal the verdict.

Johnson walked 10 and struck out two while allowing 15 hits over seven frames. She filled in at pitcher for Mangold, who suffered a cut on her pitching hand earlier this week and was relegated to playing first base and batting cleanup.

“She wasn’t quite ready. She tried warming up. There’s a shot we might get her back later on either tonight or tomorrow,” Jones said. “We don’t know yet. We’re playing it hour by hour. We have total faith in Leighton. There’s a lot of pressure on that kid as a freshman and she did what she needed to do. Proud of that kid.”

Smith walked 12, struck out 13 and surrendered eight hits.

Likens, Cosenza and Felton had two hits apiece in the win, while Abby Richardson led all players with three hits.

Bluefield had all six errors in the game.

“Not exactly how we would’ve scripted us, but scoring 14 runs and still losing the game is hard to swallow,” Hall said. “We got behind the 8-ball in the first inning. Who knows what it was? We’re typically a very sound defensive team and we haven’t made very many errors all year. To put that behind them and keep battling and score runs showed they didn’t stop fighting.”

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Guard deployment in the state’s corrections facilities has ended

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The last of the West Virginia National Guard troops who were deployed have been withdrawn from the state’s jails and prisons. West Virginia Corrections Commissioner Billy Marshall told lawmakers this week the guard members are now standing down and the agency’s own employees are handling duties at the lockups across the state.

“As of May 10th we have relieved the National Guard of their obligation to us. We have no National Guard working in our facilities,” said Marshall in an update before the Legislative Oversight Committee on the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority in Charleston.

Billy Marshall

At one point, staffing levels within the Department of Corrections had reached a crises level low. At the height of the crises, 340 guard troops were deployed to handle support roles in the jails and prisons. Their work enabled regular jail and prison staff to handle up front duties dealing directly with inmates. Marshall had high praise for the Guard’s work.

“It’s bitter sweet because they are fantastic and they did an amazing job. They brought a level of professionalism and regiment that was needed and we appreciated that,” he said.

Marshall added around 30 of the guard members who had been deployed for active duty in the facilities were hired for the job permanently.

The Commissioner also told lawmakers the vacancies among uniformed officers was down to 12 percent and non-uniformed vacancies were down to 20 percent.

Since January 1, the agency had graduated 238 new employees which had greatly relieved the stressed system. A new class is underway at the training academy in Glenville and should be ready to take the jobs in a couple of weeks.

Marshall said on the job training was also an asset, especially in the eastern panhandle where newly hired personnel did not have to go all the way to Glenville to get started. He said it gave new recruits a chance to experience the job and determine if it wasn’t for them before the money was spent to train them up.

“What we do is unique and special and we realize it’s not for everybody,” said Marshall.

The agency is also continuing with new recruiting efforts to back fill the vacancies and keep staffing levels at a safe number.

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West Virginia MetroNews wins two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards

West Virginia MetroNews has been recognized with two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards by the Radio Television Digital News Directors Association.

The first was for breaking news coverage of a Charleston fire that destroyed Regal Apartments, prompting residents to have to flee swiftly.

The second was a a best newscast award for West Virginia Morning News.

“To be recognized for Murrow Awards is a tribute to what our news teams do every day. Their commitment to covering local stories of interest is really unequaled.  We are so proud to be recognized for the coverage we provide,” said George Pelletier, president and chief executive for WVRC Media, the parent company for MetroNews and its associated radio network.

MetroNews has now won 40 Regional Murrows since 2002 and a total of seven National Murrow Awards including entries from 2007, 2011, 2017, 2019, 2022 and 2023.

National winners will be announced in August, and the Edward R. Murrow Awards Gala will be in October.

The RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Awards are among the most prestigious in broadcast and digital news.

The Radio Television Digital News Association has been honoring outstanding achievements in electronic journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Award recipients demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of broadcast and digital journalism.

Also winning regional awards were West Virginia televisions stations WSAZ, WCHS and WOWK plus West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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St. Marys powers past Midland Trail in state tournament opener, 19-0

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — St. Marys sent 17 batters to the plate in a 14-run first inning as they defeated Midland Trail, 19-0 in 5 innings in the opening game of the WVSSAC Class A state softball tournament. The Blue Devils (29-3) will meet Petersburg in tonight’s winners bracket final while the Patriots will face Buffalo at 4:30.

Cali Masters and Kyleigh Rupert combined to toss a one-hit shutout for the Blue Devils. St. Marys pounded out eight hits in the first inning and had 13 in their four innings at the plate. Zoey Winland, Masters and Ava Giovinazzo each had multi-hit games. Anna Bennett hit a solo home run in the third inning.

Jesse Skaggs had the base hit for Midland Trail (20-8)

 

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Gee and other officials praise millions of dollars dedicated to relief for student financial aid

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee praised the legislature’s passage of an $80 million dollar, one-time allocation for higher education in West Virginia.

Most of the money, $51 million goes to support financial aid for students in response to problems with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called FAFSA. The remainder is meant to help colleges offset their insurance costs.

Gordon Gee

“They really stepped up to try to help universities and colleges recover from this FAFSA event,” Gee said today on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”

FAFSA has been rocked by frustrating delays and technical problems stemming from the rollout of a redesigned form intended to ask fewer questions and include more automated features.

Parents and students across the nation have reported trouble completing the application, resulting in frustrations that have discouraged many from completing the process. Many colleges, in turn, have been delayed in assessing and completing financial aid packages.

“Our applications were very strong, and of course families have been sitting here waiting to find out what their financial aid packages are going to be. And that is what our legislature, what our governor has been able to do — we can now have more certainty,” Gee said.

Gov. Jim Justice last month declared emergency over the problems, streamlining West Virginia’s part of the process. The legislature also passed a resolution this week to extend that emergency declaration.

The dollars allocated this week are meant to frontload West Virginia’s higher education grants to assure financial support for families. The hope is for the state to be reimbursed as federal dollars become available.

Gov. Jim Justice

“When the federal government put our higher education system into crisis with their mishandling of the FAFSA, I demanded that we pass funding so our kids don’t miss their opportunity to go to college. At the end of the day, again, we won for all our kids in this Great State,” Justice stated following the special session.

Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker

West Virginia’s higher education chancellor, Sarah Armstrong Tucker, said she was grateful for passage of the funding.

“With this funding, we will be able to get more financial aid to our neediest students so they can stay on track to continue their education and reach their career goals,” Tucker said.

The higher education funding was one of 15 bills passed by lawmakers during a special session that lasted three days.

Mike Oliverio

“We have a lot of small colleges and universities. Imagine if Glenville State, Fairmont State — imagine if 300, 400 kids can’t get the financial aid that they need to start school in August and they just don’t show up — can those institutions even make their payroll?” said Senator Mike Oliverio, D-Monongalia, speaking today on “Talk of the Town” on WAJR Radio.

Oliverio continued, “What we’re trying to do is put some dollars up to help students who can’t get through the hoops of the current requirements for their scholarships or grants or loans, so that we have some backup money available to get these kids enrolled,”

“Then we’re going to make a strong case with the federal government to be reimbursed for the money that we put out to do this.”

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Fallen law enforcement officers ceremony in Clarksburg honors Sgt. Cory Maynard

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — They didn’t die in vain.

Sgt. Cory Maynard

That’s the message from Timothy A. Ferguson, Acting Assistant Director of FBI-CJIS in Clarksburg.

“At the end of the day, I don’t think any of us can look around at our communities, our country, and say we don’t have the best country in the world,” Ferguson said.

That was Ferguson’s message following a ceremony honoring fallen WVSP Sgt. Cory Maynard and more than 300 other officers and agents at the annual Memorial Ceremony for West Virginia Law Enforcement Officers.

“I as a law enforcement officer feel that everybody that I look around and see is worth it,” Ferguson said. “A lot of times we hear, ‘thank you for your sacrifice.’ And I think the response to that should be, ‘you were worth it.’ And I think, at the end of the day, they fell for something that was bigger than themselves.”

Some family members of fallen officers typically make the trip from across the state each year. Some come from further away — like the family of Sgt. Maynard. Others, like the family of Derek Hotsinpiller, are a little closer to home. Hotsinpiller died in 2011. He was shot and killed while serving a warrant with two other deputy marshals and members of WVSP at a home in Elkins.

“They fell because they believed in what we had — a system of justice that we have and the system of law that we have,” Ferguson said. “They believed in making their country safe.”

Maj. James Mitchell, WVSP Chief of Staff, said Maynard was a throwback who believed in community policing.

“He served very faithfully with an attitude of community,” Mitchell said. “He wanted to talk to people, to get involved with people, and to get to know them on a personal level.”

Maynard, 37, died last June responding to a shooting that injured Benjamin Baldwin, 39, of Matewan. Maynard was reportedly ambushed and would die later of his injuries at Logan Regional Medical Center.

Timothy Kennedy, 29, of Beech Creek, is facing multiple charges in connection to the shooting of Baldwin, the murder of Maynard, and the shooting of another trooper. He pleaded not guilty in February.

“Everything that we do has a potential danger factor to it,” Mitchell said. “We don’t think about it every day. We can’t. We just look at it as our duty. We’re glad to serve. I think it’s a calling that we come out here every day. We don’t think about what could happen. We know the reality, but we gladly thankfully serve every single day.”

The 90-minute ceremony features the names of officers dating as far back as the 19th century.

Story written by MetroNews reporter Alex Wiederspiel

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