Set one Monday showed that Polk County’s young Wolverine squad may be ready to compete with the top volleyball programs in Western North Carolina.
The final two sets of Polk’s non-conference clash with West Henderson, though, showed the Wolverines haven’t quite reached that point just yet.
The Falcons escaped a tight first set and dominated the final two, posting a 25-21, 25-8, 25-15 victory over the Wolverines at Polk.
West Henderson (8-2) scored five of the final six points of the first set, then rode that momentum to an 8-1 advantage to open the second set. The lead stretched to 12-1 before a Mia Bradley block briefly stopped the Falcons, but West rolled on to easily claim the set.
The Falcons also opened an early advantage in the final set and steadily pulled away to complete the sweep.
“Every time we play them, it’s a big mental, get right in our headspace thing,” said Polk County head coach Molly Hill. “We’re not getting in the right headspace.
“We start conference play tomorrow. Maybe this will fire us up for that.”
Polk County (2-5) could certainly point to its first-set play with pride. West Henderson jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Polk quickly fought back, evening the match at 8-8.
With both sides offering consistent defense that lead to lengthy rallies, the teams largely swapped points until the Wolverines grabbed a brief lead at 20-19. The Falcons, though, reeled off five straight points to take a 24-20 edge, then closed the set on a Jen McNamara kill.
Bradley finished with seven kills for Polk County, with Sophia Overholt adding four kills and seven digs. Ella Waldman had 14 digs while Elena Carroll had 13 digs.
Zaelea Eller had 11 assists and six digs, with Morgan Yoder finishing with three blocks.
Polk County begins its Mountain Foothills 7 Conference schedule on Tuesday, hosting Chase. Junior varsity play begins at 5 p.m, with the varsity to follow. Both matches will be streamed live on the NFHS Network.