A point here, a point there – that’s all Monday that decided the Blue Ridge Conference East Division volleyball title.
Rugby Middle got those points, edging past Polk County Middle 20-25, 25-16, 15-13 in a charged atmosphere at Polk to claim the East Division crown.
The Wolverines (9-3) finished the regular season in a tie for second place with Apple Valley. A coin flip Tuesday will decide the BRC East’s second and third seeds for the postseason tourney, which begins Wednesday. The second seed will host Waynesville Middle while the third seed will travel to either Macon Middle or Bethel Middle.
The deciding third game proved a tight one. Rugby surged to a 7-4 lead, capped by a kill from the back line by Marley Orr, but Polk fought back, taking a 9-8 advantage.
The teams then swapped points until a Brianna Powell kill gave Polk a 12-11 advantage. Rugby claimed the next three points to reach match point, but an Ada Kelley kill kept the Raiders at bay and made the score 14-13.
Rugby’s Emily Delaney, though, hammered home a set to give Rugby the win and the division championship.
Rugby roared to an 8-3 lead in the opening set, but the serving of Kylie Lewis helped the Wolverines take command. Lewis had five consecutive aces as part of a 9-0 Polk run that gave the Wolverines a 12-8 lead.
Rugby cut the lead to 18-16, but kills by Powell and Kelley started a 6-0 run that moved Polk to set point. Rugby closed to within 24-20 on the serving of Kamdyn Reese, but an error gave Polk its final point and a 1-0 lead.
The second set stayed close until the Raiders snapped a 9-9 tie with four straight points. The margin never dropped below three from that point on as Rugby pulled away to claim the set.