Volleyball team fights for place in state tournament

Fiercely moving through the post-season, the Lady Bulldogs volleyball team has high standards for their upcoming sub-state game and beyond. After losing to Heritage in the district tournament last year, the team set their postseason standards high with plans to make it to state, and they have made significant progress toward those goals. They hosted and defeated Anderson County and Farragut in the region championship game Tuesday, winning the region title, and will play Science Hill on Thursday at home in sectionals and continue their bid for state. “Our main goal was just to make it past the region tournament, and from there it is really just a bonus,” senior captain Tayler Tate said. With a record of 41-6, losing only to Farragut, Anderson County, and Dobyns-Bennett in the Early Bird tournament in Oak Ridge, the girls are looking forward to competing against tougher teams as the post-season progresses. A loss to Farragut made them settle for second place in the district tournament, but still allowed them to continue in the post-season, and they have taken advantage of the opportunity to keep playing. “The competition is really high, but we will continue to push through and try to make it to state,” senior Tara Swartz said. Although this is his first year coaching at Bearden, Coach Dave McGinnis has set high expectations for his team. He expects the team to not only make it to state, but to win the state title. “We have already surpassed my goals for the team which is a testament to the skill and heart of the group of young ladies,” McGinnis said. “Our goal now is to win Thursday and make it into the state tournament where anything can happen.” McGinnis says as they go further into the postseason, he does not expect the team to lose their drive for success. “Being a champion and doing something for your school doesn’t take much motivation, and I know these girls can handle it,” McGinnis said. Brooke Williams is a staff writer for The Bark. Follow The Bark on [email protected] and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.