AIKEN — Seniors Anna Tovo and Emily Teelon have been in position for a state title run every year of their high school careers at Aiken. Both want to bookend their careers by winning it all.
The two senior leaders began their last attempt with a 3-0 Aiken win over Spring Valley in the first round of the Class AAAA state volleyball playoffs Tuesday.
Aiken will play host to West Ashley in the second round Thursday.
The Lady Hornets last won a state championship in 2010, when Tovo and Teelon were freshmen.
After two consecutive years as runner-up to Hillcrest in the state finals, Aiken is again a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
With Tovo and Teelon at full strength as seniors, Aiken has perhaps its best opportunity to return the state title trophy to coach Malynda Young’s program.
“We said since freshman year we were going to try to make it to state all four years,” Teelon said. “We made it the first three years, and we said we were going to work as hard as we possibly could to get to state again. We have a goal, and we’re going to get there one way or another.”
The first step in this year’s playoffs came against a familiar opponent in Spring Valley, which Aiken defeated in three games Sept. 12. The Lady Hornets cruised to a similar victory Tuesday, winning by no fewer than 11 points in any game.
Aiken jumped to a 14-3 lead in the first game and breezed to a 25-8 win. The Lady Hornets followed with consecutive 25-14 wins in the final two games to move past the Lady Vikings.
Tovo led the way with 10 kills and eight digs. Teelon added seven kills, six digs and 18 assists.
Young said she takes no match for granted, but she is taking time to enjoy the remaining matches she has with Teelon and Tovo.
“I’m just enjoying these last few games with them, and I hope we have four more,” she said.
“They really want to get back (to state), and they really want to win (state).”