Blue Flame volleyball primed and ready for a great season

2013 Pickens Volleyball Schedule

2013 Pickens Volleyball Schedule

PICKENS — After facing a heartbreaking loss in the AAA State finals last season, the Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame volleyball team is excited about the prospects for the new season.

Continuing strong play in Region II is a primary objective for the team this season. That poses a daunting task, as last year’s tough competition continues to grow stronger. Pickens faces Eastside at Eastside early in the season, a match sure to set the tone for the rest of the year.

Pickens returns an experienced group, including a majority of last year’s starters. All-region selections Michaela Leslie and Rachel Kellett anchor the team, along with fellow seniors Brooke Stewart, Brianna O’Shields, Tiffany Stewart, and Amanda Hutton. Laiken Porterfield, also an All-region selection last season, along with Haley Holcombe and Melodie Broom are back as well.

“Of course no one is guaranteed a position,” coach Jennifer Gravely said.

Gravely mentioned varsity returners Faith Dickard, Davis Hendricks, Micheila Looper and newcomers Idalis Ross, Stephanie Dalton, Shelby Blackstock, Haley Carter, Madison Holford and Skylar Ashemore.

“The girls are working hard,” Gravely said. “Competition is intense at every position, and I’m pleased at the progress we’ve made defensively as a group.”

The Lady Flame will need every bit of that defense with the grueling schedule facing them. The team competes in four tournaments this season, including the Tournament of Champions at Dorman, the Ram Invitation at Hillcrest, and the Serve for the Cure Tournament at Blessed Trinity, Ga. They also will host a JV and varsity tournament at Pickens High School.

“The team is focused and hungry,” said Gravely. “We’re primed and ready for a great season of volleyball.”