Dyersburg has a pretty good volleyball team.
After handling South Side in straight sets 25-11, 25-18 and 25-17 in the semifinal round of the Region 7AA tournament; the Lady Trojans were poised to claim their third region title in the last four years.
Despite battling errors for the majority of the match, the Lady Trojans rose to the occasion when it mattered most. Though Dyersburg dropped its first set of the postseason, in the end the talented squad was too much for the Lady Eagles.
The Lady Trojans won the 4-set contest 25-22, 26-24, 17-25 and 25-15. The victory assured Dyersburg of hosting a sectional contest on Thursday and brought the squad to within one victory of a fourth straight appearance at the state tournament in Murfreesboro.
Once the final point was won and the title hardware was secure in hand, Dyersburg coach Marilyn Liljenquist seemed more relieved than overjoyed at the accomplishment.
"We had too many mistakes out there so I was really glad that we were able to win," said Liljenquist. "I'm really proud of the girls for the way they stayed with it, but we have some work to do at practice because this wasn't the way we want to play and they all know we didn't play our best today."
After making quick work of the Lady Hawks from South Side, the tourney title and a chance to host a sectional contest was on the line against Chester County.
Things didn't start too well for Dyersburg, but they sure ended a lot better.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the opening set, forcing Liljenquist to call timeout to try and break the Chester County momentum. "I just told them to calm down and go out there and do what we do," said Liljenquist.
The brief break seemed to work. Dyersburg scored five of the next six points to trim the deficit to 13-11. Once the set was knotted at 15-15, the Lady Trojans took the lead and never surrendered, winning the set on an emphatic kill shot from tournament MVP Daisy Liljenquist.
The second set was a back-and-forth battle as the two squads were knotted on seven different occasions. When it mattered most however, Dyersburg senior Jessica Thompson came through with flying colors.
The Lady Trojans trailed 24-23 before a laser kill from Thompson knotted the set at 24-24. Two aces later on serve from Thompson lifted Dyersburg to a 26-24 set win and one set away from the tourney title.
Chester County had other ideas.
Taking advantage of 19 Dyersburg errors during the third set, the Lady Eagles owned the third set. Dropping its first set of the postseason, the Lady Trojans could have easily hung their heads. Instead, the squad showed why they are the cream of the crop when it comes to volleyball in West Tennessee.
The fourth set was a quick one as Dyersburg claimed the championship hardware. The squad will host Memphis Fairley on Thursday at DHS beginning at 5 p.m. The winner of the match will advance to the big dance, something that is becoming a tradition.
"Getting to state is a big goal, but we're not there yet," added Liljenquist. "We're going to have a tough practice tomorrow and they are going to be sore because I saw plenty of things today that we need to improve on. This was a great win and I'm really proud of the team, but it's going to get tougher and we have to be ready."
The cost of admission for Thursday's contest will be $7. No season passes will be honored for the event. TSSAA championship cards will admit two and TACA passes will admit one per pass.