BETHANY — Last week, the Bethany volleyball team found itself in a place it had been before. Three consecutive years, actually.
The Bronchos were in the regional finals, one win away from the state tournament.
But, by the narrowest of margins, Sept. 27 turned out to be different from the previous three years.
With a 3-2 (25-17, 17-25, 26-24, 22-25, 15-12) win over Mount St. Mary, Bethany won the regional and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament, which runs Friday and Saturday at Chickasha High School.
It's the first state tournament appearance for Bethany's volleyball program, which is not quite a decade old.
And for five seniors, who have been part of the program for the majority of its existence dating back to junior high, it was a longtime goal achieved.
“The program has come a long way since coach (Kerri) Cagle started it,” senior middle blocker Courtney Bowie said. “It means a ton to be a part of the first team to make it to state.
“It's cool to have been a part of the growing of the program and seeing it develop.”
Last week's victory was a moment of pure joy, especially for the seniors.
“This was our last chance,” said Julia Proctor. “We had to get there this time. It was the best feeling in my life. I was screaming so loud, I wasn't even breathing.”
Getting their first state tournament victory will be another story, with the Bronchos set to take on top-seeded and undefeated Elgin.
“Mentally, we'll have to be the stronger team,” senior setter Courtney McPhail said. “I think skill-wise, we're equal. Mentally, we'll have to be stronger. Everyone has their own role, from sitting on the bench cheering us on, to the starters. As long as we know our roles and know what to do, I think we can succeed.”