Pickens volleyball wins silver at Hillcrest tourney

UPSTATE — The Lady Flame played a grueling day of volleyball at the 32-team Hillcrest Tournament that featured a tough slate of teams from around the state.

Lady Flame

Lady Flame

Pickens started the first round of pool play at Woodmont High School early in the morning on Saturday. The team split with AAAA White Knoll before defeating Wren and Greer in two games.

Changing gyms to Hillcrest for the second round, the Lady Flame faced a solid Gaffney team, losing in three. Then the team faced red-hot Spartanburg High School, fresh off a championship last weekend at the Byrnes Tournament. Playing tenacious defense and timely offense, Pickens took the Vikings to three games, this time coming up victorious. Pickens finished out the pool with a nail-biting battle against Southe Pointe. Rallying from a seven-point deficit, the team won the first game 27-26. The intensity continued, but the Flame came up short 27-26 in the second. But with passion and determination, the team came back again to win the match 17-15.

In tournament play that started around 9 p.m., the team handled Lugoff-Elgin in two games. But facing Northwestern in the finals, the Flame struggled in the beginning, losing the first game. Digging deep in the second, Pickens forced a third. The final game turned in their favor, and the defending Upper State Champions secured their second consecutive silver division championship at the Lady Rams Invitational.

Haley Holcombe, sophomore setter and right side blocker, was named to the all-tournament team.

Hillcrest defeated Riverside to win the Gold, the teams beating White Knoll and Gaffney respectively to get to the finals.

PHS Volleyball Stats:

Michaela Leslie

: 49 kills, 1 assist, 8 aces, 3 blocks, 81 digs

Brianna O’Shields:

35 kills, 3 aces, 11 blocks, 11 digs

Brooke Stewart:

28 kills, 2 assists, 2 aces, 5 blocks, 7 digs

Rachel Kellett:

65 assists, 1 ace, 36 digs

Tiffany Stewart:

1 assist, 1 ace

Melodie Broom:

4 kills, 4 assists, 4 aces, 103 digs

Faith Dickard:

5 kills, 1 assist, 1 block, 2 digs

Laiken Porterfield:

31 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks, 85 digs

Haley Holcombe:

5 kills, 72 assists, 7 blocks, 26 digs

Stephanie Dalton:

3 digs

Micheila Looper:

1 dig

Tourney Score Recap:

White Knoll 25-23, 17-25

Wren 25-12, 25-15

Greer 25-11, 25-12

Gaffney 17-25, 26-24, 8-15

Spartanburg 27-25, 18-25, 15-13

S. Pointe 27-26, 26-27, 17-15

Lugoff-Elgin 25-23, 25-17

Northwes. 21-25, 25-20, 15-9