Western serves up 3rd straight crown

Volleyball

November 02, 2006|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN REPORTER

Western volleyball coach Monique Butler had her team focus on two things going into last night's Baltimore City championship match - serving and passing.

The visiting Doves used both to build early momentum and a lot of intensity as they avenged their only loss of the season and dealt No. 14 Poly its first loss, 25-12, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21.

The Doves (14-1) won their third straight city title and their 14th in the past 16 years. Since 1984, they have been in every city final, winning 17 times.

"It's amazing, because it's our senior year and we took it home," Western hitter Brooke Wilson said. "It's so nice. It's a good feeling. We worked real hard."

The Doves had some ground to make up after falling to the Engineers (12-1) in a tight match early in the season. Last night, Western served well and used its accurate passing to set up a balanced offense, superbly run by senior setter Shatera Kimbrough (24 assists).

Taqwisha Richardson led the Doves with nine kills while Wilson had eight, Kimbrough had seven and Janelle Carrington had six.

Kedra Smith also came up big at the net with two key blocks late in the final game. Frances Riggs and Ciarra Glasschow each had several strong serving runs.

"We played as a team this time," Wilson said. "Everybody was encouraging everybody. When we made a mistake, we didn't let it get to us."

Poly seemed out of sync much of the match. In the first game, the Engineers appeared rattled by four net calls and, despite serving well early on, they missed 17 serves in the match.

Late in the third game, Poly had the momentum going, coming from 20-19 down to win, 25-23, thanks to five kills, three from Elisha Clinton (10 kills).

The Doves took a 15-10 lead in the fourth game before the Engineers rallied to tie, but a service error gave the Doves the lead for good.

"We made mistakes, and we didn't cover mistakes," Poly junior Erin Cox said. "Not to say that Western didn't do good at all. They did great because they hustled and did what they had to do, but the things they did, we could have covered easier and we just didn't do that."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

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