Pickens’ title win culmination of dominant season

“I told you so.”

Those were the first words Pickens head volleyball coach Rikki Owens said to me following the Blue Flame’s 3-0 state championship win over Aiken High School on Saturday, and she was right.

Going back to the end of last season, Owens had told me that 2021 was going to her team’s year. The 2020 squad came up short against Hilton Head in the state final, but with just one senior, Maddy Gentry, graduating and an eight-girl contingent coming back, Owens had every reason to believe in her squad.

Early in the season, the Blue Flame played up to their usual standard, defeating all comers minus a loss to Class 5A Mauldin. Coming off the loss, I watched the 2021 team sweep

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