The Thomas Sumter Academy varsity volleyball team will be playing in the SCISA 2A state championship match against Spartanburg Christian School.
While this will be the Lady Generals’ first time playing for a volleyball state title, SCS is the defending state champion. TSA head coach Gwen Herod, however, doesn’t think her team will be in awe of the circumstances.
“We’ve got some seasoned athletes on this team who have won state titles in basketball and softball,” Herod said. “So while this will be there first time in volleyball, they’ve played in big events like this before.
“I think when we walk in there, we’ll realize the circumstances, but once we get a couple of serves it will be just a volleyball match.”
The best-of-5 volleyball match will be played today in Clinton beginning at 6 p.m. at Presbyterian College’s Ross E. Templeton Center.
Thomas Sumter will carry a 28-2 record into the match after sweeping its half of the bracket in the 2A state tournament on Friday and Saturday in Myrtle Beach. The Lady Generals won 10 of the 11 games in five matches.
The Lady Warriors are 25-17 and riding a 14-match winning streak after winning all five of their matches in their half of the state tourney bracket. They won all 10 of their games.
TSA will go into the match with little knowledge of Spartanburg Christian and its players. Junior setter Sydney Daniel doesn’t have a problem with that.
“We just need to go in there and play our game,” Daniel said. “We have to concentrate on what we do and focus on that, not what they do.”
Daniel set 92 assists in TSA’s five state tournament victories, while Josie Reed had 51. Anita Cookey-Gam had 89 kills and Taja Hunley had 58. Diamond Gibson had 84 digs.
With the balance that TSA possesses, Cookey-Gam believes that will be a key for the Lady Generals today.
“We have to continue to play together,” said Cookey-Gam, one of five seniors along with Carmen Silvester, Gibson, Hunley and Reed. “And we have to finish. We’ve had a problem doing that this year, but I think we overcame that this weekend. We have to do that.”
Peyton Thompson is the top performer around the net for Spartanburg Christian. She has 357 kills and 38 blocks. Corey Nichols has 156 digs and Carson Coggins has 708 assists.