Dyersburg had already run the table in the district during the regular season and won the district and region tournaments in convincing fashion while facing quality competition along the way.
With several preseason goals already accomplished, Dyersburg was one step away from realizing another on Thursday while facing Fairley in a sectional contest.
In what should have been its toughest match of the season so far, Dyersburg dominated and turned it into a laugher.
The Lady Trojans, as they have the three previous seasons in sectional contests, manhandled the visitors with relative ease. The 3-set domination that took a mere 40 minutes to complete, ended with scores of 25-8, 25-3, 25-3 as Dyersburg punched its ticket to the big dance for the fourth straight season.
Afterward, first-year coach Marilyn Liljenquist was much more at ease, as well as much happier than she was following the region tournament title game two days earlier.
"This is what we've wanted since the first day of practice and since the first time we stepped on the floor this season," said a beaming Liljenquist. "These girls have worked extremely hard for the chance to get back to state and today they made it happen."
On a day with the season hanging in the balance, the Lady Trojans were firing on all cylinders. Crisp passes, sweet serves and amazing kill shots from Daisy Liljenquist and Jessica Thompson were more than enough.
The duo combined for a total of 33 kills, 19 digs and eight aces in the final game of their high school careers played at DHS. Though the powerful duo led the squad at the net, the supporting cast of Claire White, Sydney Coffman, Paige Jones, Kali Decker and Kyndal Riddick all played well during the victory.
"All of the girls were just awesome and I'm proud of the entire team," added Liljenquist. "The seniors were very determined when the season began to make it to the state tournament four years in a row and now they've done it and they deserve to be where they are today."
While Thursday's match against Fairley was certainly one of the easiest wins of the season, the competition will reach new heights next week when the squad travels to Murfreesboro.
Though the program has advanced to the state tournament the last three years, there has been only one match win during the span. Last season, another very talented Lady Trojans squad was overwhelmed and intimidated, dropping six straight sets to end the season.
This year, Liljenquist hopes things will be different. Though she knows the competition will be tough, she believes this unit will have a better ending than those before them.
"Look, we respect every team that will be there because like us, they've earned it," she added. "This year is going to be different for these girls, I really believe that. This year we're going to respect everyone, but we won't be scared and we won't be intimidated."