VOLLEYBALL: Prepared Polk pushes past Mount Airy in playoff sweep

Published 12:58 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

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Playoff preparation proved prescient Tuesday for Polk County.

The Wolverines spent Monday prepping to face Mount Airy left-handed senior hitter Alissa Clabo. Then Polk put that practice to good use, keeping Clabo and company in check in a dominant 3-0 win in the second round of the state 1A playoffs.

Polk notched a 25-10, 25-10, 25-16 win, setting a school record with its 24th win of the season. Now 24-3, the Wolverines will host Rosman (18-4) in Thursday’s third round in a rematch of Polk’s 3-0 win over the Tigers in August. That match will begin at 6 p.m.

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The Wolverines raced to a 12-4 edge in the opening set Tuesday and never appeared to not be in charge of proceedings. Only the early stages of the second set were close, but a long serving run by Mia Bradley ended that set and largely removed any drama about the eventual outcome.

“I think the girls were just feeling confident and played like it,” said Polk head coach Molly Hill. “They played like they had control of the game the whole time. And I was really proud of them.

“We watched a lot of film, talked about it a lot and came in here and did some specific stuff in practice yesterday. We knew they would be going primarily to (Clabo), and we were ready for it.”

Polk County also welcomed back junior hitter Morgan Yoder, who missed Saturday’s playoff opener with illness. Yoder had 16 kills and four blocks in the win.

“Morgan played great tonight,” Hill said. “She was excited and pumped up, and that’s what we like to see.”

Sophia Overholt had 12 kills and 14 digs, with Bradley recording nine digs and serving six aces. Kylie Lewis had five kills and Ada Kelley added four with 14 digs.

Zaelea Eller had 24 assists and Charley Dusenbury had nine, with Elena Caroll posting nine digs.

Mount Airy ended its season with a 17-11 record.

Rosman, the ninth seed in the 1A West bracket, swept South Stanly in its second-round match. The Tigers are led by senior hitters Emma Moretz and Alissa Cheek and have won nine of their last 10 matches, with their only losses this season to Polk County, Brevard and Owen.