Polk Middle rolls past Bethel in volleyball playoff opener

Polk County Middle's Kristen Hall reaches for a spike during Monday's win.

Polk County Middle’s volleyball team took a solid first step Monday in its bid to repeat as Blue Ridge Middle School Conference champions.

The Wolverines made quick work of Bethel Middle, handing the Blue Demons a 25-11, 25-15 defeat in the opening round of the BRMSC tournament at Polk.

The Wolverines (10-3) will next play in Wednesday’s semifinals at Macon Middle, the top seed from the West Division. Macon Middle took a 2-1 win over Apple Valley on Monday.

Much like its straight-set win over Bethel earlier this season, Polk Middle relied on its solid serving and strength at the net to overpower Bethel. The Blue Demons did make things tougher than in the regular-season match, especially in Monday’s second set, when Bethel rallied to within five points at 20-15.

But Kaylin Jenkins served the final five points of the match, including a couple of aces, to end Bethel’s comeback hopes.

“They definitely gave us more of a game today,” said Polk Middle head coach Matthew Russell. “We’re glad to get this win and get it done in straight sets.

“We see positives all the time. Serving, I thought the girls did a great job today hitting their spots. We see those positives, but we also see, still, communication and movement not being where they’re supposed to be. Hopefully we’re at the point in the season where we’ll start to figure that out. But we saw a lot of positives today.”