By Chuck Reherman
Southwest Covenant will make its first appearance in the class 4A State Volleyball Tournament on Friday.
And, just like their previous two appearances in the class 3A tournament, the Lady Patriots have drawn the No. 1 seed.
The No. 8 Lady Patriots, 24-7, will face No. 1 ranked Christian Heritage, 32-4, in the opening round at 10 a.m. at Moore High School.
SWCS reached the state tournament after beating Tahlequah Sequoyah in the regional finals last week in Tahlequah. The Lady Patriots went five sets and scored the last two points after long rallies to earn their spot in the tournament.
“We expected that we would play the No. 1 seed,” Lady Patriot head coach Samantha Lindsey said. “We did have a slim chance to play the No. 2 seed Victory Christian, but when you get to the state tournament all the teams are very good and you eventually do have to play them to win.
“We are excited to reach the state tournament in our first year in 4A,” she said. “We have a young team and this is going to help us grow as a team. We will have everyone back next year and they will know more what to expect.”
CHA beat Community Christian of Norman 3-0 in their regional finals, then tuned up for the state tournament by beating class 6A No. 2 ranked Edmond Memorial 3-2. The Lady Crusaders are 3-2 against class 6A opponents during the season.
The rest of the state tournament field includes Oklahoma Christian, Bethany, Regent Prep, Crossings Christian and Berryhill.
The winner of the SWCS-CHA match will meet the winner of Bethany-Regent Prep at 9 a.m. Saturday in Moore. The championship game is set for 4:30 p.m. in Moore.
“We are looking to carry the momentum from the regionals into the state tournament,” Lindsey said. “Having to move up to class 4A was a challenge for us. We made it a goal to get to the state tournament, but the regional showed that we can hang with these teams.
“It was tough drawing the CHA, who are the four-time defending state champs in the opening round,” she added. “We are not going to lay down, we have nothing to lose in this match and we are going to play our hearts out and leave it all on the court.”
By Chuck Reherman