Ball powers West Henderson past Polk

Published 12:46 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Polk County senior Addie Lynch pushes a shot over the net in Tuesday's match with West Henderson.

Polk County senior Addie Lynch pushes a shot over the net in Tuesday’s match with West Henderson.

West Henderson’s volleyball team left Polk County’s steamy gym on Tuesday night with a collective smile on its face.

And why not – the Falcons certainly had a Ball while they were there.

West Henderson senior Mary Catherine Ball recorded 31 kills to lead the undefeated Falcons to a four-set win over the Wolverines in a non-conference match. West earned a 25-14, 25-20, 22-25, 25-13 victory.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Hitting at a velocity that Polk County (1-2) won’t see often this season, Ball and sophomore hitter Casey Brown caused problems for the Wolverines from the outset. But Polk’s blocking of the duo improved throughout the match, especially in the third set, and that’s why Polk head coach Molly Hill enjoys playing the two-time defending state runners-up.

“They definitely challenge us as far as blocking goes,” said Hill, who played at West Henderson and whose sister, Allyson, is an assistant coach there. “That’s something we’ve really been working on. Going up against their big hitters helps us.

“They pushed us to the limit, but you could see it starting to click. We started getting touches on the ball. Then we started getting stuff blocks. That was exciting to see.”

Senior Georgia Garrett is one of two setters that Polk County is employing this season.

Senior Georgia Garrett is one of two setters that Polk County is employing this season.

The Wolverines built a 7-4 lead early in the third set, a Lauren Ketwitz ace to reach that score leading to a West Henderson timeout. The Falcons came out of the timeout, soon evened the score and pulled out to a 21-18 lead.

But Polk took advantage of West mistakes and its defense to score five straight points for a 23-21 lead. West broke the string with a single point, but Reagan Waddell and Ansley Lynch teamed on back-to-back blocks to secure the final two points for the Wolverines and the set.

The fired-up Wolverines, though, ran into a roused West squad in the fourth set, the Falcons building a 7-2 lead, giving up a point on a Lynch kill, then reeling off five more points for a 14-3 advantage. West kept that margin in hand throughout the rest of the set.

The first two sets were close early. Polk led 4-2 in the first, but West quickly retook the lead, then pulled away late in the set behind Ball’s hitting and serving. The second set followed the same pattern early, West taking a 19-14 advantage, but the hitting of Waddell and Mireya Roman helped rally the Wolverines to within 21-19.

A Polk miscue and a West Henderson ace made it 23-19, and the Falcons reached set point before a Waddell kill made it 24-20. Ball, though, finished off the set with a kill from the back row.

“We get intimidated by teams bigger than us, and that’s definitely a challenge we’ve got to overcome within the team,” Hill said. “The good news is, we did, and once we started getting confidence in ourselves, and showed how we’re trained to play, we played well. Taking a set off them is huge for us.”

Waddell had 15 kills and 17 digs for Polk, which also got six kills from Lynch. Kendall Hall had 28 digs, with Addie Lynch adding 17 digs and Cameron Caqpozzi finishing with 12 digs. Georgia Garrett had 13 assists and 10 digs and Ketwitz had 12 assists and six digs.

Polk returns to action on Wednesday, hosting East Henderson.


– Submitted by