2A volleyball playoffs: West Stanly outlasts Polk County in dramatic fifth set

A thrilling, back-and-forth fifth set Tuesday evening finally tipped in West Stanly’s favor.

Polk County and West Stanly fought off a combined seven match points in a dramatic final set that ended on the eighth, the Colts claiming a 3-2 win over the Wolverines in a state 2A second-round volleyball playoff match in Oakboro.

West Stanly (24-4) eked out a 27-25, 25-13, 25-20, 23-25, 22-20 victory, advancing to a third-round match on Thursday at Southwestern Randolph, which defeated Patton 25-18, 28-26, 25-14.

Polk County’s season ends with an 11-14 record and an effort of which everyone in blue and white could be proud.

How the match unfolded:

Set 1: Polk County opens 8-2 lead, West Stanly rallies. Wolverines fight back from down 24-21 to take 25-24 lead, eventually take first set 27-25. Winning point comes on a Sophia Overholt tip that causes two West Stanly players to collide while digging.

Set 2: Already leading 15-10, West Stanly closes set with 10-3 run to take 25-13 win. Colts’ 6-3 senior hitter Kayli Cleaver closes set with a big kill.

Set 3: West Stanly builds early 7-2 lead, extends it to 21-11 before Polk County rallies. Wolverines close to 23-20, but Colts get final two points to close the set and take a 2-1 lead.

Set 4: Polk County races to an 8-1 lead. Lead is at 14-7 when West Stanly begins to rally. Colts finally pull within one at 24-23, but Overholt nails a kill to give the Wolverines the set, even the match and force a deciding fifth set.

Set 5: Where to even begin. Polk inches out to a 7-4 lead, Colts even the match. Teams trade points, are tied at 12-12 when West Stanly scores twice to make it 14-12. Polk County fights off both match points, falls behind 15-14, then saves another match point. Morgan Yoder kill gives Polk match point at 16-15, but Colts save it as well. Another Yoder kill makes it 17-16, repeat West Stanly save. Polk again leads at 18-17, West leads at 19-18, Polk leads at 20-19. Each time, the opponent fought off a match point. West Stanly finally scores the last three points of the match to claim a 22-20 victory.

Overholt had 18 kills, with Yoder finishing with 13 kills and Mia Bradley and Ada Kelley each notching six kills. Overholt and Kinsley Huskey each had five blocks.

Amberlyn Scruggs had 26 assists, with Bradley recording 14. Ella Waldman had 26 digs, with Scruggs adding 18 and Overholt recording 16.

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