Pickens downs Catawba Ridge for Upper State crown, plays for state title Saturday

The Lady Blue Flame readies to storm the court in celebration as the team captures the Upper State Championship Tuesday in Fort Mill

FORT MILL — The Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame volleyball team captured its fifth straight Upper State Championship on Tuesday night against Catawba Ridge High School in Fort Mill and will meet Aiken High School in the state title match Saturday at Dreher High School in Columbia.

“This was an important win as we were not on our home court,” said Lady Blue Flame Head Coach Rikki Owens. “Saturday will be a very special day as many of these young ladies have played together for years. They want to win the state championship not only for each other but for the entire Pickens community as well. We are so proud of this amazing group of young ladies!”

Playing on the road for the first time in the playoffs, the Lady Blue Flame downed the Catawba Ridge Lady Copperheads in three straight sets Tuesday night in Fort Mill to capture the Upper State Championship: 25-8, 25-17, 25-22. Aiken High School defeated defending champion Hilton Head Island on Tuesday for the Lower State Championship and will face the Lady Blue Flame Saturday in Columbia.

Pickens High has won 15 state volleyball championships since 1980, the last one coming in 2014. With the victory over Fort Mill, the team has captured five straight Upper State crowns.

The Lady Blue Flame 2021 record stands at 36-3 on the season, with all three losses coming against 5A schools. The team finished the regular season 8-0 in Region 1-4A play and did not lose a single set during region play. The team has also not lost a set in its three playoff matches against South Pointe of Rock Hill, Westwood of Blythewood and Catawba Ridge of Fort Mill.