PICKENS — The Pickens Middle School volleyball team completed its fourth consecutive undefeated season by winning the AOP Conference Division II Tournament title under the direction of head coach Mellie Crumpton.
The Sparks won the regular-season title with a perfect record of 12-0 and received a first-round bye in the conference tournament held Oct. 14 at Powdersville High School.
The Sparks opened the tournament with a 25-8, 25-12 win over Walhalla and then defeated Powdersville twice 25-5, 25-9 in the semifinals and 25-13, 25-14 in the finals to claim its fifth end-of-year tournament championship in the last six years.
“There was no doubt our girls came to play ball Saturday, I believe our semifinal match was our best match of the entire season,” said Crumpton. “I was thrilled everyone was able to play and contributed to our victory, it was so much fun to watch this talented group of girls play together as one team.”
Crumpton said the team had a 94 percent serving percentage which was led by Regan Powell, who was 31-31 with 3 aces.
Also contributing were Calie Covey with 12 aces, Maggie Sizemore with 7 aces and Sky Moorrees and Lauren Dow who both had 6 aces each.
“Our offense was on fire Saturday and pretty much unstoppable — I loved it,” she said. “Leading us were Maggie Sizemore with 20 kills, Calie Covey with 19 kills, Regan Powell and Sky Moorrees with 9 kills each and Lauren Dow with 7 kills.”
The Lady Sparks (15-0) were dominant all year long as no opponent got over 20 points in a set and only twice did an opponent reach 15 points.
The average set score was 25-9.
“Going into this season I was so excited because I knew how much talent we had on this year’s squad,” said Crumpton. “I had four returning starters coming back — which is very unusual in middle school volleyball — and strong new girls ready to step in.”
Crumpton is 90-6 after her sixth year as coach at Pickens Middle and her Sparks’ team will carry a 59 match winning streak into the 2018 season.
“This is a very special group of girls who have so much talent. They have had an amazing season and I am honored to have been a small part of it and watch these girls thrive as amazing volleyball players,” she said. “They are going to have a bright future ahead of them.”