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Polk County will begin its drive for a return trip to the state 1A volleyball championship match on Saturday with a home game against Langtree Charter Academy.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released official brackets on Thursday for the upcoming postseason, which begins with Saturday’s first round and concludes with the state finals on Nov. 9 at Fayetteville State.

The Wolverines (19-4) received the third seed in the 1A West bracket and will face Langtree Charter in their opening match, set for 3 p.m. at Polk County High School. The Lions enter with a 9-11 record and placed fifth in the PAC 7 1A Conference.

Admission for playoff matches will be $7 for all ages, per NCHSAA rules, and only NCHSAA-issued passes will be accepted.

The Lions are led by junior Hailey Gilreath, who finished the season with 98 kills, and senior Rylie Spencer, who had 171 digs. The 5-8 Gilreath was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Phenom Watch List earlier this year.

Based in Mooresville, Langtree played a schedule of all charter and private schools this season.

If Polk County wins Saturday’s match, the Wolverines would host either South Stanly or Swain in the second round on Tuesday.

Polk County would be at home for the first three rounds if the Wolverines advance, and the Wolverines could possibly see familiar foes Lincoln Charter or Community School of Davidson in the third round. Polk could then be set for a fourth-round rematch at East Surry if the two teams reach the quarterfinals. The Wolverines defeated the Cardinals last year in the 1A Western Regional final.

East Surry (23-3) is the second seed in the 1A West, with Robbinsville (22-2) earning the top overall seed. Perquimans is the top seed in the 1A East bracket, followed by defending state champion Falls Lake Academy.

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