The pursuit of a goal six years in the making will be realized Friday afternoon in Bixby.
When Janet Brannon became the Southmoore volleyball coach, she immediately began building a program that would last. She began with a youth league, a summer club team and junior-high ball.
Those seventh-graders that joined back then are seniors now — and they're taking the SaberCats to the state tournament, not only for the first time in school history, but school district history.
No other Moore school has been to state in volleyball, but that string ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday, when Southmoore meets Edmond North in the final match of the first round of the Class 6A tournament. Bixby High School hosts the two-day tournament, which begins at noon Friday.
“It's been amazing to see,” Brannon said of her program's growth over the last six years. “These seniors have been part of the process from the very beginning, playing youth league together and going into junior high.
“All four of our seniors have been starters on varsity at some point.”
The SaberCats have been a fringe top-10 team the last few seasons, but finally broke through this year, and it was the leadership of those four seniors — Brianna Ruby, Carly Fuget, Amy Serowski and Micayla Payne — that helped put them over the top.
They instituted team lunches on game days, team meals at a player's home throughout the week, and group Bible study for any players who wanted to attend.