CANTON – Sound and steady. Polk County couldn’t have asked for much more in its season opener.
The Wolverines made their 2023 debut Monday a successful one with a three-set sweep of Pisgah, dispatching the home squad 25-11, 25-23, 25-14.
Polk County took control of the match early in the first set and rarely trailed the rest of the evening. A second-set Pisgah rally offered the most drama, but the Wolverines were able to hold off the Bears and then sew up the match in the final set.
“I thought we came out strong, we played confident, we maintained control of the game pretty much the entire time,” said Polk County head coach Molly Hill. “The second game was a bit more iffy, we made some errors on the front row, just not seeing our block or the defense behind the block, those sort of things.
“But the third game, we tried something new. It was a lineup that we’ve never even practiced, and I thought they did really great and had some fun with it. And that’s what I told them in the huddle before the third game, just go out there and have some fun and try things. I felt like they did that.”
Polk pulled away to easily take the first set, then rolled to a 13-5 lead midway through the second set. But Pisgah middle hitter Mabel James began to both hit and block well, and that combination rallied the Bears to within a point.
Polk, though, never lost the advantage, reaching set point at 24-22 on a Sophia Overholt kill. Pisgah answered with a point, but Morgan Yoder ripped a kill into the center of Pisgah’s defense to claim the set.
“I had to call a timeout (in the second set) and told them, we’ve got to clean it up on the front row, you’re getting blocked, you’re not seeing what you’re hitting in front of you and then the defense behind the block,” Hill said of Pisgah’s comeback. “Not only should you be talking, but you should be there covering and waiting for that chance to maybe get a dig.
“I felt like they adjusted well to that.”
The Wolverines raced to a 10-1 lead to open the third set and were largely never threatened.
Yoder finished with 12 kills, with Ada Kelley and Overholt each adding nine. Lexi Beiler had five kills and Kylie Lewis finished with three. Zaelea Eller notched 21 assists while Charley Dusenbury added 12.
In her first start at libero, Elena Carroll posted 11 digs, with Overholt recording eight. Kelley had six digs, and Dusenbury and Overholt each served two aces.
Polk County returns to the road on Thursday, traveling to Crest.