Champs: Polk County brings home WHC conference title

Polk County's girls tennis team celebrates its first conference title in 11 years following Thursday's win (photo courtesy Tina Muse),

It was the final day of the 2016 girls tennis season, and Polk County head coach Richard Davis was already thinking about 2017.

With a large returning class as well as some talented incoming freshmen, Davis talked at length about how 2017 could be the best season in quite some time for the program.

He knew what he was talking about.

Polk County won its first conference championship in the sport since 2006 on Thursday, clinching the Western Highlands Conference crown with a 6-3 win over Owen in Swannanoa.

The win capped a 13-2 regular season and undefeated (6-0) run through the WHC as the Wolverines won just the fifth conference girls tennis title in school history. It is also the first conference title any Wolverine team has won since the 2016 spring season.

Hannah Jenne set the tone for the afternoon with a 10-2 win over Jaiden Tweed at No. 1 singles. Senior Bella Marino added a 10-4 win at No. 5 singles, and two members of that freshmen class, Julia Griffin and Virginia Rostick, each earned 10-4 wins in their singles matches.

Heading into doubles up 4-2, Polk County needed just one more point to secure the title. The Wolverines got two as Jenne and Harris topped Tweed and Ashley Valencia 8-4 at No. 1 doubles and Griffin and Rostick teamed for an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles.

Polk County will host the WHC postseason tournament on Tuesday. The 1A West Regional for individual players will be held Oct. 20 at Elkin High School while the 1A state team playoffs will begin Oct. 18. Pairings for the state team playoffs will be announced on Oct. 16.