Blue Flame win Upperstate title

Volleyball team falls just short in
quest for 3A State Chanpionship

LEXINGTON — After battling through a tough Upperstate 3A playoff bracket to advance to the State championship game at White Knoll High School, the Pickens Lady Blue Flame fell agonizingly short of winning their first State crown since 2008 on Saturday, as North Myrtle Beach overcame a Pickens win in the match’s first set for a 3-1 victory and the program’s first-ever State title.

The Blue Flame found themselves ahead early, winning the first set 25-21, before the Chiefs stormed back to take the final three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-17 and 25-9.

Pickens emerged victorious from a stiff Upperstate bracket as Upperstate champions.

The Flame opened postseason play back on Oct. 23 with a fairly easy three-set win over Westwood before getting a tough test in a 25-17, 25-23, 25-17 win over Wren in round two.

Round three was perhaps the defining moment of the Blue Flame’s season, as coach Jennifer Gravely’s squad took a tight first set, 25-23, before dropping two lopsided sets 25-12 and 25-10. Facing elimination, Pickens rallied to survive a 26-24 fourth set and a 15-13 fifth set to advance to the Upperstate title game against Chapin, which had defeated top-ranked Daniel in round three.

The Blue Flame took care of business against the Eagles to claim the Upperstate crown, winning 3-1 by scores of 25-14, 25-20, 28-30 and 25-17.