After being eliminated in the sectional round each of the past two seasons, the Bearden volleyball team is headed to the state tournament.
Bearden defeated Tennessee High on Thursday in the Class AAA sectional to secure their spot in the state tournament, after falling just two points short of a state bid a year ago.
The Lady Bulldogs (22-14) will face Franklin (29-11) this Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at MTSU, then will face either Siegel or White Station later in the day Wednesday in the double-elimination tournament.
“It’s really great,” junior Chesney McClellan said. “It’s definitely special for me, and I’m sure a few others, since it’s our first time ever going to state with the volleyball team.
“It was a team goal of ours.”
Added senior Bri Greenlee: “Making it to state is awesome. When we won the last point in the sub-state game against Tennessee High, everyone was super excited.”
The Nebraska commit McClellan was a big reason Bearden was able to advance, as she recorded 32 kills, 22 digs and five blocks in the win over Tennessee High.
This marks Bearden’s first appearance in the state tournament since 2012, when the Lady Bulldogs won two matches before being eliminated.
This year’s team hopes for the story to be different this time.
“As a team, we are expecting some competition, but if we play focused and just go hard, then we know that we will win,” Greenlee said. “We know that nothing is going to be handed to us.”
Added junior Logan Kael: “I know we have a lot of talent on our team, and when we all play our best we can beat anybody. Our expectation is to go all the way and play at our full potential.”
Bearden’s first test in the tournament will not be easy.
Franklin beat Farragut earlier in the season, and the Lady Admirals were Bearden’s weakness over the course of the season, winning all four matches against the Lady Bulldogs.
“We aren’t going for anything less than a state championship,” McClellan said. “I think what we expect out of each other is just hard work, focus, and determination.
“Just lay it all out this week because there’s no more practices so we have to give it all.”