Polk County’s girls tennis team wrapped up its regular season Tuesday with a 6-3 loss to Hendersonville, ending its 2013 campaign with an 8-8 record.
But don’t be fooled by the record, said Polk head coach Richard Davis. A .500 team, these Wolverines are not.
“We’re better than an 8-8 team,” Davis said. “We played three teams that could wind up winning state championships in Shelby, Crest and Asheville. We played Crest twice, so that’s four losses there.
“I could have made our record better by playing easier teams. But I wanted us to play good teams early to get us ready for people in the conference. And I think it helped us, to a degree.”
The Wolverines closed their Western Highlands Conference slate with a 4-2 record, both losses coming this week to Hendersonville by identical 6-3 scores. Tuesday’s loss, at Polk County, also marked senior day for the Wolverines, who held a quiet celebration after the match with cake, flowers and presents.
“This is a good group of girls,” Davis said. “Most all of them are seniors, so next year will be a challenge. I’m pleased with this group of seniors and what they’ve done.”
One of those seniors, Mackenize McCool, earned a 10-4 win at No. 4 singles on Tuesday to wrap up a second straight 15-1 season. No. 1 player Alivia Livesay earned a hard-fought 10-8 win and McCool and Alli Halbkat teamed for an 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles to account for Polk’s points.
Polk County, Hendersonville and Mountain Heritage will take part in the WHC 2A conference tourney on Wednesday at Polk. The tournament is used as a qualifier for individuals for the 2A regional tournament, slated for Oct. 15 at Gardner-Webb. Under the format used, each school can enter two doubles teams and two singles players in the conference event. Livesay and Jamie Greene and McCool/Halbkat will compete in the doubles tournament, with Adriana Talley and Kim Russell competing in the singles. The top two finishers in each advance to the regionals.
As the runner-up in the WHC, Polk also has a good shot at a wild card berth into the state 2A playoffs. Qualifiers and pairings will be announced this weekend.
“We’ve had a good year, and it’s not over yet,” Davis said.