Polk Middle spikes Hendersonville despite late lineup change

Polk County's Kayla Stechschulte (3) and Hannah Whitson look to block a Hendersonville Middle shot during Wednesday's match.

A late glitch proved not to be a hitch for Polk County Middle’s volleyball team.

An injury in the final minutes of practice Tuesday sidelined eighth grader Abigail Garland and forced the Wolverines to juggle their lineup in advance of Wednesday’s match with Hendersonville Middle. Polk, though, powered through the change and the Bearcats, posting a 26-24, 25-11 victory in a Blue Ridge Conference battle at Polk Middle.

Picking up their first win of the season, the Wolverines (1-3) held on to win the closely-contested first set, then took command early of set two. With Polk County up 6-4, Elizabeth Christian served six straight points, a run that pushed the Wolverines out to a margin they would never relinquish.

Hendersonville Middle (2-2) called two timeouts to try to slow Polk, but the Wolverines continued to extend the lead until closing out the match.

“We played well considering the circumstances,” said Polk County head coach Matthew Russell. “We had 10 minutes yesterday to try out a brand new rotation and we tried walking through it before the game today.

“Ella Waldman, our seventh grade captain, played her first game at libero and I thought she did a great job keeping everyone in order and leading us on the floor.”

Rebuilding after all of last season’s conference championship team matriculated to Polk County High School, the Wolverines have also pushed through a difficult early-season schedule that included road trips to Macon Middle and Rugby as well as a home clash with Brevard, three of the conference’s top programs.

“That’s a tough way to start the year,” Russell said. “And I thought Hendersonville was much improved from last year.

“I’m happy for the girls (to get their first win). They’ve been working hard in practice. We had great contributions across the board.”

Polk Middle is back in action on Monday, traveling to Flat Rock.