Polk County’s return to state 1A playoff competition couldn’t have gone much better Wednesday.
The Wolverines’ girls tennis team, competing in the first 1A postseason event since the school’s move back to the classification, rolled past Highland Tech 6-0 in a first-round match at Polk.
The Wolverines, 14-2, will remain at home for the second round, hosting Lincoln Charter on Tuesday. The Eagles, 7-3, are led by sophomore Emerson Crichton, the state 1A runner-up last season as a freshman, and coached by Dana Crichton, a former standout at West Virginia and the head pro at Westport Swim and Tennis Club in Denver, N.C. Lincoln Charter starts five sophomores and a freshman.
Polk County needed slightly more than an hour to finish Wednesday’s playoff opener, with only the six singles matches played. No. 1 player Hannah Jenne earned a 6-0, 6-0 win to set the tone for Polk, which dropped only a combined 11 games in the six matches.
“They’re a wild card team, and they’re coming off two or three tough seasons like we had,” said Polk County head coach Richard Davis. “We had to build and build to get to this point, which is what they’re in the process of doing.
“It’s nice to move on to the second round. It’s fun to win. We did what we’re supposed to do today on our home court. Now we can worry about Lincoln Charter next Tuesday.”
Before that second-round clash, three Wolverines will compete Friday at the 1A West Regional in Elkin. Western Highlands Conference champion Julia Griffin will represent the Wolverines in singles, with Jenne and Tana Harris competing in the doubles draw.
Sixteen entrants will compete in singles and doubles, with the top four qualifying for the state 1A championships. Thus winning two matches would mean a state berth for either Wolverine entry.
“We’ll go to Elkin and see if they can get through a couple of rounds and get to state,” Davis said. “It would be a tough road to hoe if they get to state, but to get there is better than a lot of other players can say.”
Polk County 6, Highland Tech 0
1. Hannah Jenne (PC) d. Carleigh Ballard 6-0, 6-0; 2. Tana Harris (PC) d. Sophie Carter 6-1, 6-1; 3. Haven Dufford (PC) d. Maddie Van Meter 6-3, 6-2; 4. Julia Griffin (PC) d. Annabelle Pearson 6-0, 6-0; 5. Bella Marino (PC) d. Christiana Daniel 6-0, 6-2; 6. Virginia Rostick (PC) d. Patience Foster 6-0, 6-2.