Perhaps it was the hoopla surrounding the final regular-season home match of the season. Perhaps it was thinking ahead, just a bit, to Wednesday’s match at Rugby Middle.
Whatever the reason, Polk Middle head volleyball coach Kenny Hall wasn’t entirely pleased with his team’s performance in the first set of the Wolverines’ 2-0 win Monday over Brevard Middle.
“The first set was not good, and they know that,” Hall said in the wake of the 25-20, 25-14 victory over the Blue Devils. “In the first set our serving was not up to our caliber, and that was one of the keys to the game.
“But we did just enough to hang on to the first set, and then we started coming alive in the second set. Our serving was better, putting pressure on their defense, which was another key to the game today.”
The Wolverines did lead much of the first set, but could never pull away due to the serving issues. That changed in the second set as Polk built an early advantage and steadily widened the margin.
Polk Middle (12-1) clinched at least a share of the Blue Ridge Conference East Division championship with the win, their second straight division crown. The Wolverines travel to Rugby on Wednesday for a showdown with the Raiders (9-2) that will decide whether the teams split the East championship or Polk wins the title outright.
A Wolverine win would also secure the top East Division seed for Polk Middle and possibly two home matches in the BRC tournament that begins Monday. A loss means a coin flip will be needed to determine whether Polk or Rugby will own that top seed. The Wolverines are assured of one home tournament match either way.
Preceding Monday’s match was a ceremony recognizing the 12 eighth graders on the team. That included Reeve Carroll, who was honored for being the first player in school history to be part of the varsity roster all three seasons.
“I’m proud of them for a gritty performance today, and in a big game,” Hall said. “I’m proud of the eighth graders and the commitment they’ve given to our program through the years.
“But we still have unfinished business. We need to finish our regular season and go win a championship and keep moving forward.”