PICKENS — The Carolina One 12U Regional Black Pickens Team, playing under the name of “Fire,” has earned a bid to play in the USAV National Tournament based on their season’s performance, continuing a growing winning tradition in volleyball for Pickens County.
The team’s play during the season, taking Gold in five tournaments, along with one 2nd place and one 3rd place finish, and may have sealed the deal with their performance during the Palmetto Regional Championships, played April 1-4 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
During the regional tournament, the 12U Fire defeated Fort Mill, Aiken, and Charleston to reach the finals before falling to one of two teams from Aiken in a rematch of a contest the Fire had previously been victorious in. Aiken took the match 2-1.
“This team wanted to win so much. They played their hearts out, but for the first time this season, did not maintain their composure under pressure and lost to a team we had beaten the day before,” Head Coach Peggy Anthony said. “They were heartbroken, but were ecstatic to hear they still received a bid to Nationals.”
Although the team was disappointed to have dropped the championship match, a bid to the national tournament took the sting out of the loss.
Davis Hendricks, filling in for assistant coach Erikka Chapman, was proud of the team’s efforts.
“These girls are amazing,” Hendricks said. “People all over the Convention Center heard about them and came to watch them play.”
Over the three day tournament in Charlotte, the Fire received outstanding play with Megan Carter serving 26 aces and blocking six shots, Calie Covey with a team leading 27 kills, and setters Bailee Earnhardt and Lauren Dow tallying 36 assists.
Ali Pace added 43 digs to the performance and Dow served at 100 percent and finished the season with zero errors out of 232 attempts.
The Fire will be playing teams from all over the United States in the National Tournament in Indianapolis and is seeking fundraising assistance for the trip. The team will be at the Pickens Azalea Festival with their own booth April 16 for those interested in participating.
Reach D. C. Moody at 864-855-0355.