On Tuesday against Milan in the semifinal round of the District 13AA tournament being held at Crockett County High School, Dyersburg took the first step toward a return trip to Murfreesboro and the TSSAA state tournament for the fourth straight year.
The Lady Trojans easily won the contest in straight sets by scores of 25-8, 25-15 and 25-17. Despite already owning two regular-season wins over the Lady Bulldogs, Lady Trojan coach Marilyn Liljenquist said the team didn't take anything for granted.
"We were really ready for today. We had a great practice on Monday because we know everybody steps up their game at tourney time and we didn't want to come in overconfident and get stunned," said Liljenquist.
While the coach may have been a bit nervous about the start of the tournament, her squad was firing on all cylinders from start to finish. While Milan gave a spirited effort throughout the match, Dyersburg's dominance prevented any real rally for an upset.
Daisy Liljenquist and Jessica Thompson benefitted from the setting ability of teammate Claire White throughout the 3-set match. The duo combined for 37 kill shots, some of which had the Lady Bulldogs running for cover.
Liljenquist finished with 21 kills and Thompson 16, while Kyndal Riddick led the squad in digs with 28. Kali Decker had a good day as well, ending the match with 16 digs.
As it has been the past four years, the Lady Trojans advanced to meet host Crockett County on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Dyersburg has owned the title matches, but Liljenquist expects Thursday will be the toughest match of the year with a No.1 seed at the upcoming region tourney on the line.
"We are playing every set as if it were our last," she added. "The girls are going to be ready to go but I know it's going to be tough," said Liljenquist.