That Polk County won a volleyball game Thursday night proved more a sidelight than the main event.
Certainly, the crowd that gathered for the Wolverines’ regular-season finale enjoyed the 25-13, 25-15, 25-14 victory over Mountain Heritage. Polk County finished a perfect 10-0 run through the Western Highlands Conference and a 19-4 overall record.
But as the balloons and decorations attested, the night’s stars were Polk County’s seven seniors, a decorated group that has established a legacy that may not soon be matched, especially given that there’s one more playoff run to go.
So the night was about Meadow and Carolina and Landry, about Grace and Karla and Mireya and Sydney, about their remarkable accomplishments to date:
- 62 wins and counting in the past three seasons in which the seven have played a key role
- A 29-1 conference record in that same span, including 19 straight league wins
- Three WHC titles, continuing Polk’s string of six straight outright or shared conference crowns
- Back-to-back appearances in the 1A Western Regional
- A regional title and the school’s first state championship appearance
“This group of seniors, they’ve really accomplished more than any other group of seniors here ever,” said Polk County head coach Molly Hill. “They were part of the first team to go to state. Every year they’ve won a conference championship and they’ve set a lot of team and individual records.
“It’s hard to believe that they’re not going to be with us next year. Senior Nights never get any easier.”
Smiles were ample throughout the evening, and nothing about the match changed that. The Wolverines were in control of every set, though Mountain Heritage (7-13, 6-4) did keep the second set close for a time.
Grace Lauer had eight kills, with Meadow Becker adding five. Sydney Waldman had 21 assists, five aces and seven digs, with Carolina Castillo posting seven digs and three aces.
Landry Edwards had seven digs, Karla Olguin had four and Mireya Roman had four blocks for the Wolverines.
Polk County will now wait to find out whom they’ll host in the opening round of the state 1A playoffs on October 26; pairings will be announced October 24. It feels like the Wolverines have been waiting all season for a chance to begin a quest to return to the state final. That opportunity is at hand.
“I still see a few things I’d like to stress and work on in practice next week, but the good thing is we have a week to do that,” Hill said.
“Everybody has been anticipating this postseason, and now it is finally here.”