GUNTER, Texas (KTEN) -  This is the third straight year that Gunter volleyball is headed to state, and they haven't forgotten about that state championship game from last year.

"It was a very emotional game. It was new pressures. It was a new thing for us. We had never been that far, so it was a new feeling. But this year we've felt that now we know how it feels to be there and so now it's like okay we felt it now let's keep going with it and feed off of that," said senior outside hitter Aubrey Walton.

Despite the outcome of last year's state title game, the team learned a lot from that moment.

"One of our core values for our team this year that we talked about is composure and staying attentive to the details and making sure that we stick to the game plan because whenever you get to that big moment it's hard sometimes to clear your mind, " said head coach Katelyn Gill. "So we've really been focusing on staying composed and disciplined."

Gunter has beaten state qualifiers in a number of conferences bigger than them this year, and they feel that's really helped them as they head into the state tournament this weekend.

"We've played like a lot of back to back hard competition, and I think that a lot of schools our size haven't had the opportunity to do that, and so we've been really fortunate with like a really tough season and we're just excited to carry that on throughout state," said senior DS Elle Whitteker.

The Lady Tigers face Columbus Thursday at 11 a.m. in the semifinals at the Curtis Culwell Center.