The point earned on the scoreboard may have seemed insignificant, but upon reflection, it held much greater value.
During the second set, Sophia Overholt, an outside hitter for Polk County, displayed great determination in keeping the play alive. She ran away from the court and dove with her body fully extended to save the ball over her head. As she tumbled, she narrowly avoided hitting her face on a set of metal table legs located next to the court. Without hesitation, she quickly returned to the court to assist her team, ultimately earning them the point.
Polk County’s first N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A volleyball championship was marked by their determined attitude and effort, resulting in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Falls Lake Academy at Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday.
Overholt stated that she was determined not to let any balls drop.
This was the mindset that was common among all players on the Wolverines team.
In a repeat of the 2018 1A finals, Polk County won the first set with a score of 25-19 and the second set with a score of 25-22. Throughout all three sets, there was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams. Initially, the Firebirds struggled to find gaps in the Wolverines’ defensive strategy. However, they made adjustments and went on a streak, causing Polk County to also adapt.
At the end of the set, Falls Lake was ahead 18-15, but the Wolverines made one last effort and ended up winning 25-22.
Coach Molly Hill stated that the upcoming challenge would require us to overcome the deficit through a fierce battle. Despite the odds, we were able to succeed, showcasing the resilience of our team.
The 1A West’s number one seed, Polk County (28-3), received strong performances from Overholt in both offensive and defensive play. Middle blocker Morgan Yoder made crucial kills, setter Zaelea Eller maintained a steady offense, and libero Elena Carroll continuously made important digs.
The Wolverines lost all three games to Brevard, who is the 2A champion and also a member of the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference.
The Wolverines only made one appearance in the volleyball championship game before, which was in the 2018 match.
Falls Lake (26-4), the top seed in the 1A East, stayed alive thanks in part to the superb passing of setter Tess DeZurik. The Firebirds’ only losses came to 3A runner-up Orange, twice, and 4A Chapel Hill.
“Our team, while we had some good moments, did not perform at our best due to our nerves,” stated coach Corrinna Sammons. “We were unable to take charge and dictate the game. Instead, the opposing team had control over us.”
Falls Lake has made it to the title game for the third time, securing consecutive victories in 2018 and 2019.
Prior to the competition, a representative from both teams received the NCHSAA sportsmanship awards. Kylie Lewis was awarded for Polk County, while Maggie Penn received the award for Falls Lake.