Polk County Middle's Sofie Abrahamsen focuses on a return during the first set of Monday's match

Polk County Middle opened its quest for a Blue Ridge Conference volleyball championship on Monday with a home sweep of Smoky Mountain Middle in a first-round BRC Tournament meeting.

The Wolverines (13-2) largely controlled play throughout the match to take a 25-16, 25-15 victory in the tourney opener. That sets up a home semifinal match on Wednesday against either Canton Middle or Brevard Middle. First serve will be at 4:30 p.m.

Serving proved key in Monday’s match as Smoky Mountain (4-10) struggled with serve receive. Polk Middle, the top seed from the BRC’s East Division, never trailed in the first set, building an early lead and steadily growing it until wrapping up the set on a Jill Brown kill.

Polk then raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set behind Reeve Carroll’s serving. The Mustangs, though, battled back and trailed just 10-9 before Polk put together a 9-2 run.

Sofie Abrahamsen had two kills in that spurt, Renee Bright had an ace and Brown added another kill, the run finally ended on a Carroll ace that made it 19-11. The Wolverines reached match point at 24-13, but the Mustangs managed two points to extend the game until a kill attempt sailed long to end matters.

With head coach Kenny Hall keeping a watchful eye, Polk Middle’s Abby Pruitt digs a shot during the first set of Monday’s match