Eagles Soaring to National Heights

Eagles Soaring to National Heights

The Eagles are soaring in Iowa.

The Polk State College volleyball team is flying high with a 3-1 record after posting two wins on Saturday, including its biggest victory in the history of the program thanks to a 3-2 win over No. 6 Salt Lake Community College in the Reiver Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The unranked Eagles, who were oh-so-close to an upset victory Friday against No. 16-ranked Western Wyoming following a tournament-opening victory over Jefferson College (Utah), lost the first set to Salt Lake 25-22, before winning the second set 25-20, and the third set, 25-14.

They dropped the fourth set 19-25, but they claimed the deciding set 15-13 to improve to 2-1 on the season.

In addition, they topped Barton Community College, 3-1, on Saturday for a 3-1 record to start the season.

"When we go back to Florida, we are going to say that we have a team that can compete at the national level," said second-year head coach German Del Valle.

The program-changing victory should give the Eagles the national recognition they sought by competing in the tournament – which is also the first time the Eagles have traveled out of state.

The road to Iowa first went through Miami Dade when the Eagles defeated the No. 10- ranked Sharks in late October.

Polk led the Salt Lake Bruins 7-3 in the final set. The two teams tied the match at 7-7 and went point for point until the Eagles finished it off.

Eagle sophomore outside hitter Diannmarie Rivera-Romero (Puerto Rico) posted 18 kills and 12 digs.

Sophomore setter Ashley Toth (Edgewater) recorded 38 assists.

Shatorreia Edgecombe (Dame) scored 14 kills and four blocks.

Del Valle said other programs at the tournament have been impressed with the energy and passion of the Eagles, who were dancing after the victory.

"The head coach from Wyoming said he wished he would have the energy that our team has," Del Valle said. "Everyone was looking at our match. I think that some people are feeding themselves with our energy."

The Wyoming coach knows of the competition in Florida.

"He told me it's going to be really interesting to see how it's going to be between Hillsborough, Central Florida and Miami Dade," Del Valle said.

Ana Karine Cavalcante (Brazil) led Polk against Barton with 16 kills and three aces as the Eagles won 25-22, 21-25, 25-8, 25-15.

Cheye-Anne Savage (Hudson) added seven kills. Edgecombe notched nine kills and four blocks. Elizabeth Garcia (Idaho) added eight blocks and Toth turned in 32 assists.

Friday, Polk topped Jefferson College 3-2 and fell to No. 16-ranked Western Wyoming 3-2.

The Eagles host Eastern Florida State College on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Winter Haven Health Center.

 
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