Game, set, match, title: Polk County wraps up WHC championship

Published 8:00 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

A slow start to the season didn’t deter Polk County from dreaming of another Western Highlands Conference volleyball championship.

A quick start to Tuesday’s season finale ensured the Wolverines would be indeed have another WHC trophy to hold – no dreams required.

Polk County wrapped up undisputed possession of the 2018 WHC championship with a straight-set win over Madison, defeating the Patriots 25-6, 25-11, 25-8 on Senior Night at Polk.

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Save for the early portion of the second set, the match was never close as Polk County (15-8, 9-1) made certain it would retain its title as WHC champs. The Wolverines actually had Madison to thank for being sole titleholders, the Patriots upsetting Owen last week to leave Polk alone in first place.

The Wolverines remained there with a quick, workmanlike effort.

“To say I was worried early in the season sounds bad, but I was a little worried,” said Polk County head coach Molly Hill. “Being conference champions is always a goal of mine. I’m very, very pleased, not only that we’ve done that, but to be outright champions is exciting.

“Monday (a 3-1 loss to Asheville Christian) was disappointing, because we wanted to win, but we all had a common goal that we’ve been talking about, especially since we found out Owen lost.”

Marilyn Castillo had 11 kills, Grace Lauer added nine and Mireya Roman had eight kills for Polk. Senior Ansley Lynch had 14 digs, with Sydney Waldman adding 37 assists and 10 digs.

Lynch and Alex Romano, the team’s lone seniors, were honored before the game and on the floor as Polk raced to an early 10-3 lead and were never challenged in the opening set.

Madison (3-18, 3-7) kept the second set close at the outset, but Polk’s defense and hitting quickly put the Wolverines back in front, ensuring a happy end to the season.

Polk County will now await Monday’s announcement of the state 1A playoff pairings as the Wolverines look to repeat last year’s run to the state semifinals.

“The girls worked hard and came in focused, and they got the job done,” Hill said.

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