“It was probably painful to watch,” Peace-Able said to a reporter. “It’s going to be much different if we see each other again.”
The Engineers’ 25-22, 25-18 and 25-18 decision was hardly textbook volleyball, but the defending Baltimore City champ answered their toughest challenge in the early stages of league play.
“We definitely had our ups and downs,” said Poly senior outside hitter Camaree Barr. “I think we came back nicely and showed what we’re capable of.”
Trailing 14-13, Poly (3-1 overall) ran off nine straight points to take command of the second game. Peace was pleased with Engineers’ resolve after an early 10-3 deficit.
“We get comfortable and think we can always fight back. That’s my biggest challenge,” said Peace-Able. “It’s the biggest challenge for any coach, consistency.”
Luckily for Peace-Able, she has arguably the best player in the City league in setter Adreina McCullum. A four-year starter, McCullum is one of three holdovers from last season with Barr and Stacia Smith.
“She has the best hands I’ve seen around here in a long time,” said Peace-Able.
“My freshman year we got to the state semifinals and we’re trying to do it again,” said McCullum. “We have a lot of athleticism.”
McCullum had eight service points during the 9-0 run in the second game including three aces. Her ace got the Engineers off to a 3-0 start in the third game.
Western (2-3) closed to 7-6 before McCullum’s kill ignited a run of eight straight points. The Doves got as close as 18-13, but kills by Smith and junior Amber Fortman put the sweep within reach for Poly.
“We just beat ourselves. We made too many mistakes,” said Western coach Monique Butler. “Our serving was poor and passing was inconsistent, so that took us out of our offensive scheme.”