It wasn’t the razor-sharp performance that Polk County volleyball coach Molly Hill expects from her Wolverines.
But it was more than enough to carry Polk County into the next round of the state 1A playoffs.
The Wolverines opened their postseason quest on Tuesday with a straight-set win over Robbinsville, handing the Black Knights a 25-18, 25-20, 25-16 loss in second-round action at Polk.
The Wolverines (21-3), who matched the school record for victories in a season, will host Lincoln Charter (19-5) in a third-round match on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Eagles advanced Tuesday with a five-set win at home over Alleghany.
Reagan Waddell had 14 kills, 16 digs and two solo blocks to lead Polk, with Grace Lauer adding six kills and Ansley Lynch adding five kills, 19 digs and two solo blocks.
“I felt like we played a little too slowly,” Hill said. “We didn’t know what to expect, but we just played a little bit slow at times. We’ve also been off for a week, so that could have been part of it.
“It will be nice to get back into the swing of things and into a tempo of playing.”
With just one match in the previous 11 days prior to Tuesday’s playoff opener, Polk County started slowly, trailing Robbinsville 5-4 in the first set before going on a 6-1 run. The Wolverines steadily pulled ahead and reached set point, then endured a short Robbinsville run before a Waddell kill ended the set.
The Black Knights, who ended their season at 17-6 with just two seniors on the roster, jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second set – as they did in all three sets – but Polk County responded with seven straight points before a Black Knight timeout. Robbinsville, though, fought back to within 18-17 before the Wolverines scored four quick points to take command of the set.
The Wolverines controlled the third set throughout in closing out the win.
Lauren Ketwitz and Kristen Hall each had 16 assists, with Hall adding seven digs. Kendall Hall added 22 digs for the Wolverines.