Polk romps past Lincoln Charter to continue historic run

Polk County senior Bella Marino returns a shot during her 7-5, 6-0 win in Tuesday's match.

In 10 previous playoff appearances, Polk County’s girls tennis program had one playoff win to its name.

This year’s Wolverines have now doubled that total – with an eye on more.

Polk County moved into the state 1A dual team quarterfinals on Tuesday with a 5-1 victory over Lincoln Charter in a second-round match at Polk.

The Wolverines (15-2) will host East Surry (16-3) in Monday’s quarterfinal match. The Cardinals defeated Community School of Davidson on Tuesday and feature 1A regional doubles champions Haley Jennelle and Sarah Mann.

Though they didn’t have to play doubles on Tuesday, the Wolverines did have to work for the win. Haven Dufford earned a 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles, fighting back from a 4-2 deficit in the first set and a 4-2 gap in the first-set tiebreaker.

Bella Marino battled back from down 5-2 in the first set to claim a 7-5, 6-0 win at No. 5 singles, giving the Wolverines another key point.

“We’re in unfamiliar territory,” said Polk County head coach Richard Davis. “I think we’ve showed that we’re good enough to be where we are. We deserve to be here.

“It’s a good group of kids who play hard when they’re on the court. I think they’re buying in to the idea that they’re good.”

Junior Hannah Jenne rolled to a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles over Emerson Crichton, last year’s state singles runner-up and this year’s 1A West Regional runner-up. Julia Griffin earned a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles and Virginia Rostick posted a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles to give Polk its five singles wins.

Tana Harris suffered a tough 2-6, 6-2, 10-5 loss at No. 2 for Lincoln Charter’s only win.

Jenne and Harris will compete Friday in the state 1A doubles tournament, facing Franklin Academy’s Danielle Park and Jessica Faulkner in the first round. The two will then return for Monday’s meeting as the Wolverines attempt to extend their dream season.

“We’re in the third round, and even if we don’t win any more matches, it’s been a good run for a team that didn’t win any matches two years ago,” Davis said.