Wednesday afternoon began to have a familiar feel for Polk County’s girls tennis team.
Uncomfortably familiar for Wolverine head coach Tracy Becker.
A day after Polk County rallied for a 5-4 playoff win over Elkin, the Wolverines found themselves on the opposite side of the same situation – 4-2 lead after singles, visiting Bishop McGuinness leading all three doubles matches.
But Polk’s No. 2 team of Bella Sheffron and Cate Brown turned discomfort into delight, taking an 8-4 victory to secure a 5-4 match triump for the Wolverines in the second round of the state 1A playoffs.
Polk County (11-2) moves into the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2017 and will travel Monday to Mount Airy to face the top-seeded Granite Bears (22-0).
Brown and Sheffron’s win came after the Wolverines put together an impressive effort in singles play, taking four of the six matches. That included tiebreaker victories for Elizabeth Vitale and Brown and a 6-0, 6-0 rout at No. 4 singles by Tali Thompson.
“I know what we did yesterday, so I knew it could be done,” Becker said. “But I didn’t want to happen by any means.
“We were able to get one court. We only needed one and we got it, and I’m really proud of these girls. We had a couple of tiebreakers, which they really battled to win.”
Mia Wolfe added the other singles win for the Wolverines at No. 5 singles as Polk swept the bottom four singles matches.
“Our bottom end of the team actually won it for us,” Becker said.
1. Nina Holton (BM) d. Bella Sheffron 6-4, 6-1; 2. Adelaide Jernigan (BM) d. Sarah Vitale 6-0, 6-0; 3. Elizabeth Vitale (PC) d. Sarah Pulliam 5-7, 6-1, 10-5 tiebreaker; 4. Tali Thompson (PC) d. Lily Winters 6-0, 6-0; 5. Mia Wolfe (PC) d. Caroline Duggan 6-4, 7-5; 6. Cate Brown (PC) d. Kate Dennen 2-6, 6-1, 12-10 tiebreaker.
1. Holton-Jernigan (BM) d. Vitale-Vitale 8-1; 2. Sheffron-Brown (PC) d. Pulliam-Dennen 8-4; 3. Duggan-Winters (BM) d. Wolfe-Thompson 8-5.