Hoover was always playing catch up with the Golden Bears and was never able to gain any momentum.
"It was tough,'' Hoover senior Hannah King said of Oak Glen. "They can play some ball. They put the ball where it needed to go. We weren't hitting it strong.''
Hoover had to juggle its lineup this year as senior setter Hope Johnson didn't become eligible until last month, but then the Huskies lost 5-foot-10 Kaylee Wehrle to an infection.
The Huskies advanced to states the previous two seasons but lost in the first round each time. Hoover, which fell to Oak Glen during the regular season, claimed the Cardinal Conference and regional titles this season.
"It was an awesome season,'' said Hannah King, Huskies coach Anita King's niece and an all-tournament selection. "Every practice was a practice for the state tournament.
"Every game was played hard. We're proud to say we got past the first game [of the state tournament]. It was a thrill. Something I'll always remember. I think if they keep practicing hard like we did this year they'll have a chance to come back next year.''
Hoover junior Allison Rager and sophomore Ashton King, the coach's daughter, were also chosen to the all-tournament team. Golden Bears seniors Morgan Poling and Vanessa Hissam and sophomore Alexandra Arnott were all-tournament picks along with Philip Barbour senior Nikki Shriver, Independence senior Brooke Foley and RCB senior Denise Adkins. RCB also claimed the sportsmanship award.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at takin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.