Polk volleyball advances to second round of state

Published 5:13 pm Monday, October 24, 2011

As the 2011 2A volleyball championships begin, it is clear that expectations are sky-high for the Western Highlands Conference champion Lady Wolverines.

Left: Polk libero Shalyn Brown notched 10 digs in the Wolverines’ 3-1 victory over Smoky Mountain Saturday evening. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

So when Polk County took the first step on the road to the championship Saturday night by edging visiting Smoky Mountain in four close games, it’s fair to say head coach Heather Claussen was less than impressed with her team’s showing.
“I just felt like we couldn’t get anything really rolling on our side tonight,” said Claussen, contrasting Polk’s struggle against the 12-10 Mustangs to last Tuesday’s powerhouse performance versus conference rival Hendersonville.
“Things just felt a little bit off,” said Claussen, adding, “I’ll blame it on a Saturday.”
Of course, any win is still a win and, dominating or otherwise, the 21-25, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21 victory over the no. 3 seed from the WNCAC makes it now one down and five to go in the team’s quest for a state championship.
Polk stat leaders in the match included Sarah Phipps and Katie Ruff with 10 and eight kills respectively, while freshman Kara Overholt notched 31 assists and 11 service points.
Defensive standouts included Savannah Deaver with five blocks, while Shalyn Brown recorded 10 digs.
Next up for Polk County is Pisgah High School, the no. 1 seed from the Western N.C. Athletic Conference.
The 17-5 Lady Bears dominated the Owen Warlassies 3-0 in their first round game, and figure to give the 18-4 Lady Wolverines all they can handle when they roll into town this afternoon for a 6 p.m. start.

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