Eagles clinch conference championship

Eagles celebrate winning the Mid-Florida Conference championship after defeating Central Florida 3-0. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)
Eagles celebrate winning the Mid-Florida Conference championship after defeating Central Florida 3-0. (Photo by Tom Hagerty, Polk State.)

Polk State won the Mid-Florida Conference championship tonight with a 3-0 winover College of Central Florida. 

The victory gave Head Coach German Del Valle his first conference championship at Polk State.  

"My main goal was to dedicate this conference championship to Athletic Director Bing Tyus," said Del Valle, who became head coach in 2012. 

"He was the first person to give me the opportunity to be a college coach, and that had been my dream so I just dedicate this win to him.  

"We have kids that are committed to this team, but I think the main reason we have what we have here at Polk State is because of Bing." 

The Eagles started slowly in the first set, falling behind 16-23. From that point, however, they staged an incredible comeback, outscoring the Patriots 11-1 for a 26-24 win. 

Playing with confidence, Polk State won each of the next two sets 25-19.   

Del Valle says the team's comeback in the first set taught him an important lesson.

"It taught me to stay calm and focus on the process. I wasn't really looking to win at that point but I was trying to see if we could finish strong so we could win the next one.  

"I had a meeting with a player today and she told me, 'Coach, stay calm when we get behind so that's what I did. Coaches don't always understand that we can learn from players, but I learned from her today." 

Mariane Cassiano reached double figures in kills (17) and digs (12).  

Gregna Fuentes dished out 24 assists and made nine digs. 

Chiara Bosetti recorded 16 digs, nine kills, an assist, and a pair of aces. 

Diana Carranza added 12 digs, five assists, and an ace. 

Nayeli Vilchez tallied 11 assists and three kills. 

Aixa Vigil finished with eight kills, seven digs, three blocks, and an ace. 

Weiying Wu made six kills and two digs. 

Alexa Barral had five blocks, three kills, and a dig. 

The Eagles (17-5, 5-0, No. 2 FCSAA, No. 6 NJCAA) conclude the regular season Thursday against Daytona State at 7 p.m. in Winter Haven.  

Polk State advances to the NJCAA District/FCSAA State Volleyball Tournament starting Nov. 2 in Bradenton. 

 

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