Pickens volleyball plays tough in Georgia tourney

Lady Blue Flame

Lady Blue Flame

Russell W. Brinson III/Photo

Pickens’ Michaela Leslie goes high for a kill as teammates Brianna O’Shields, Rachel Kellett and Haley Holcombe prepare for a dig during the Blue Flame’s game with South last week at Pickens.

Roswell, Ga. — The Pickens High School Lady Blue Flame volleyball squad traveled to Blessed Trinity over the weekend for the Serve for the Cure Tournament, a fundraising effort to contribute to breast cancer research. The grueling two day tournament featured some of the top programs in Georgia.

Pickens came out on fire, lighting up 6A Lambert 25-16, 25-17. The team continued to play well Friday night, but lost a tough one to perennial 5A powerhouse McIntosh 25-22, 16-25, 11-15. The Lady Flame started Saturday strong, beating Milton 25-21, 25-13. Then the team faced a Chattahoochee team with two players committed to division one schools. Despite the intense match, Pickens dropped both games 16-25, 20-25. In the final round of pool play, Westminster, Ga defeated the Flame 19-25, 16-25.

Advancing to the championship bracket of tournament play, Pickens squared off against the host school. A nationally ranked team, the Flame could not keep up with the offensive speed of the Titans and fell 13-25, 11-25.

“We played our best game of the season,” said Blessed Trinity head coach Paul Stevens after the match.

“Despite a 2-4 record for the weekend, the tournament was a great success. More than $6,000 was raised for breast cancer research, and the experience of facing some of the top teams in the nation should help prepare our team for another tough week,” Pickens coach Jennifer Gravely said.

The Lady Flame JV and varsity hosted region rivals Eastside Tuesday before traveling to Berea on Thursday. This Saturday, Pickens will host the varsity Blue Flame Brawl Tournament beginning at 8:30 a.m.. Twelve teams are scheduled, including South Pointe, Daniel, Landrum, Wren and Pickens.

Weekend stats: Stephanie Dalton 4 digs; Faith Dickard 5 digs, 9 blocks, 13 kills; Micheila Looper 1 dig; Haley Holcombe 25 digs, 3 aces, 3 blocks, 2 kills, 91 assists; Haley Carter 1 dig; Laiken Porterfield 58 digs, 1 ace, 4 blocks, 1 assist, 32 kills; Skylar Ashemore 1 dig; Shelby Blackstock 2 assists; Michaela Leslie 56 digs, 4 aces, 4 blocks, 25 kills, 1 assist; Brianna O’Shields 11 digs, 5 aces, 10 blocks, 28 kills; Melodie Broom 59 digs, 7 aces, 2 kills, 1 assist; Davis Hendricks 15 digs, 5 blocks, 6 kills, 2 assists.