Two points from a championship appearance, two points from the end of a remarkable season – Polk County Middle’s future hung poised to fall either way Monday.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Brevard Middle won those two points, giving the Blue Devils a 2-1 victory in the semifinals of the Blue Ridge Conference Tournament at Polk Middle.
The 18-25, 25-17, 15-13 win provided Brevard, the defending BRC champions, a shot at a repeat, the Blue Devils advancing to a tournament final clash against Rugby. Polk Middle’s season came to an end with a 10-4 record, two of those losses to Brevard.
This one just as easily could have gone the other way. Brevard grabbed a 6-2 lead in the third set, but consecutive kills by Brianna Powell, Ada Kelley and Caroline Taylor helped Polk rally to 6-5.
Brevard surged back to a 9-6 advantage, but the Wolverins responded with five straight points on two Kelley kills and three Anna Jackson aces to take an 11-9 lead.
The Blue Devils responded with four consecutive points and led 13-11, but Sophia Overholt’s two-hand push and another Kelley kill evened the match at 13. A long rally followed, both sides digging shots and keeping the point alive, before Brevard finally won it, then got another to close the match.
“I just want to say how proud I am of how hard the girls played,” said Polk Middle head coach Kenny Hall. “It was a tough loss, but I’m proud of how we played. We played hard and we played together.”