Undefeated Polk State soared to its 14thwintonight, defeating Hillsborough Community College (No. 5 FCSAA, No. 11 NJCAA) 3-1 in Winter Haven.
In the battle of the birds, the Eagles (14-0, No. 1 FCSAA, No. 1 NJCAA) started strong, beating the Hawks 25-19 in the first set.
In the second set, however, with the score tied at 14, the Hawks scored seven unanswered point and went on to win 25-18.
Polk State bounced back to take the third set 25-16.
In the final set, the Eagles had a 20-9 advantage before Hillsborough again put seven straight points on the board, cutting the lead to 20-16. After a timeout, Polk State took control, winning 25-19.
"Hillsborough is a good team," said Head Coach German Del Valle. "Their number 13, Isabel Martin, is really talented, and their game plan tonight was so different than what we had prepared for, but we stayed calm, we changed the defense, and we made it work.
Looking ahead to Mid-Florida Conference play, which starts Sept. 24, Del Valle said, "We're enjoying the moment and we keep working hard. We like to do it the Polk State way, we like to do it the right way, and we'll just keep doing that.
"We have handled adversity really well. We believe in our system and we take care of business."
Suared Molina led the Eagles with 29 digs, along with two assists, a kill, and an ace.
Manuela Ibarguen posted double figures in kills (18) and digs (15) while blocking three shots.
Milexa Cardona recorded a team-high 31 assists. She also made eight digs, two kills, and an ace.
Aixa Vigil reached double figures in digs (14) and kills (10). She also had an assist, a block, and an ace.
Mariane Cassiano contributed eight digs, seven kills, a block, and an assist.
Nina FInderle finished with three digs, two blocks, and two kills.
The Eagles begin conference action Sept. 24 at Eastern Florida State College.