Wolverines top Owen, take sole possession of first in WHC

Polk County sophomore Ava Marino reaches for a shot during doubles play on Tuesday.

The drama surrounding Polk County’s key Western Highlands Conference girls tennis match with Owen ended early Tuesday.

When Tana Harris’ forehand passing shot dropped safely in to secure a 10-5 win over Jaiden Tweed at No. 2 singles, it completed a Wolverine sweep of the six singles matches, paving the way for an 8-1 Polk County victory in a matchup of WHC leaders at Polk.

The win gives Polk County (11-2, 3-0) sole possession of first place in the WHC. Depending upon what happens over the next week, the season-ending rematch between the two teams next Thursday at Owen (6-5, 1-1) could offer a chance for Polk County to win its first conference title since 2006.

“I told the team yesterday that this could give us the first leg up on the conference championship,” said Polk County head coach Richard Davis. “We have to play them again and go there, but winning today, if we also can win the next two, it’s not do or die when we go there.

“I told them yesterday that this could well be a 5-4 match, but that they were good enough to win 9-0 if they played like they were capable of playing. I feel like we’re a pretty good tennis team.”

Hannah Jenne set the tone for the match with a 10-2 win over Ashley Valencia at No. 1 singles, with freshman Julia Griffin winning 10-2 at No. 4 singles and fellow freshman Virginia Rostick adding a 10-1 rout at No. 6 singles.

Haven Dufford matched Harris’ 10-5 win with the same at No. 3 singles, with Bella Marino earning a 10-4 win at No. 5.

Jenne and Harris rolled to an 8-1 win over Valencia and Tweed at No. 1 doubles and Rostick and Griffin teamed for the first time this season in doubles and earned an 8-1 victory at No. 2 doubles.

Margaret Hey and Summer Thomas fought past Polk’s Ava Marino and Sara Muse for an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles to give the Warhorses their only point.

“It could be much closer when we go over there next week,” Davis said. “It’s fun to win for a change.”

Polk County travels to Avery on Thursday for another WHC match.