Doubles delight: Jenne, Harris claim 1A state championship

Polk County's Tana Harris, left, and Hannah Jenne earned the state 1A doubles championship on Saturday with a straight-set victory (NCHSAA photo).

They posed for photos, state championship trophies in hand. Drove back to Polk County in time to receive a standing ovation during the Wolverines’ volleyball state playoff match. Smiled and accepted all the congratulations and well wishes on social media and in person.

Despite the hoopla, both Hannah Jenne and Tana Harris were still having a hard time realizing that they were indeed state champions.

“I’m still kind of in awe,” Harris said. “It feels like I’m not sure what’s going on.”

“It’s pretty surreal,” Jenne agreed.

The Wolverines earned the first doubles state title in school history on Saturday morning, defeating Claire Rogers and Lydia Cortes of Bishop McGuinness 6-3, 6-4 in the 1A championship match in Cary.

After winning the first set and building a 5-2 lead in the second, Harris and Jenne had to wait a few moments for their coronation as Rogers and Cortes won back-to-back games. But the Wolverines stopped the run and closed out the second set and the match.

“The Bishop McGuiness team played well,” said Polk County head coach Richard Davis. “There were some long rallies, 20, 25, 30 hits in all. Fortunately, we came out on the good side of a lot of those.

“Hannah and Tana played as good or better than I’ve ever seen them play the entire weekend. I told them maybe a month and a half ago that they should play doubles, that they had a chance to win a state championship. They kind of looked at me like, ‘whaaat?’ But I knew they had a chance.”

The Wolverines put themselves in position for a title with Friday’s three-set victory over East Surry’s Haley Jennelle and Sarah Mann, rallying from a set down to defeat the Cardinal pair a week after losing to them in the 1A West Regional.

Despite dropping the first set in that match, Jenne said she and Harris remained calm. The Wolverines took a 6-2 win in the second set, then raced to a 5-1 lead in the third before eventually claiming a 6-4 win.

“I wasn’t worried that much, for some reason,” Jenne said.

“That East Surry team, I believe they were 27-0,” Davis said. “To me, whichever team came out of that match was going to win the championship.”

That title came Saturday, much to the duo’s relief.

“Thank God it’s over,” Jenne said of her initial reaction. “It’s just wild.”

“I’m proud we get to be the first to win it,” said Harris, a sophomore. Jenne is a junior. “Hopefully there will be more to come.”