Polk County claimed the 1A state volleyball title in 2023 with a sweep of Falls Lake Academy

Polk County will get an early, early sense of how it stacks up with the state’s top volleyball programs.

The Wolverines will host The Great 8 Volleyball Scrimmage on August 3, bringing together six of the eight programs that were state finalists in 2023.

Polk County, the defending 1A champion, wll be joined by 1A runnerup Falls Lake Academy, 2A state champion Brevard, 3A finalists Kings Mountain and Orange and 4A runnerup Cox Mill for the preseason event. Each team will face all others during the scrimmage, which will be played in a day-long series of timed matches.

2A runnerup Camden and 4A champion Middle Creek were unable to attend the event.

“The six that we have, it’s a strong group,” said Polk County head coach Molly Hill. “We’ll do something honorary for the two teams that can’t make it.

“I’m excited. I think it will be a great time, it will be a good group and some strong volleyball.”

Hill played in a similar scrimmage as a high school state champion at West Henderson and took inspiration from that event. Preseason workouts for the 2024 season begin July 31, so the scrimmage will cap the opening week of practice for the teams.

“It will be fun to start out with some super-strong competition,” Hill said. “That’s also why I did it as a scrimmage instead of a tournament, because I didn’t want to put too much pressure on the teams.

“These girls already have enough pressure on them, I think for my team and every other team. I wanted this to be a fun opportunity to honor the eight teams that made it that far, and I think it’s going to be a statement to have all of us in one gym together. It will be really good volleyball that very first week.”

Times for the matches, which will be played on two courts simultaneously, will be announced. Hill plans to bring in lunch for all the teams and allow them to dine together midway through the day.

The event will also serve as a fundraiser for Polk County’s program.

“I hope a lot of people come and watch,” Hill said. “It will be great volleyball, especially for fans and younger kids. I think it will be awesome.”