Poly Prep girls’ volleyball just couldn’t wrestle the momentum away from rival Fieldston at its homecoming-weekend game.
The Eagles defense, with its hustle and precision, blocked almost every opportunity Poly Prep had to gain control of the match.
Poly senior Julianna Puleo believes the nerves of homecoming and the pressure of a large crowd rattled of the squad, as Fieldston swept Poly Prep, 25–19, 25–16, 25–15, on Sept. 20.
“We haven’t had a lot of fans this season,” Puleo said. “It has been mostly the parents of players on the team, but today we had a huge crowd of supporters. I feel it may have frazzled us a little, along with the pressures of homecoming.”
Blue Devils coach Vanessa Munz agreed.
“The nerves definitely got the best of us today,” Munz said. “It’s tricky that we had to play a tough Fieldston team on such an important day.”
Even though Poly Prep struggled that afternoon, the Blue Devils did have two bright spots in the two senior leaders, Puleo and Flora Gallina-Jones. Puleo had six kills and two blocks and Gallina-Jones had 16 assists. Freshman Storm Bookard also turned in a strong performance.
“We expect our seniors to lead us this year,” Munz said. “Especially having our two seniors Flora and Julianna being our captains. We know we have a great team this year and we have a lot of young talent.”
On almost every play, the Blue Devils tried to catch the Eagles off guard, but Fieldston was ready for everything thrown at it.
“We tried 100 percent today and we wanted to win it,” Puleo said. “We came out with that fire, but they’re a very good team on offense and defense. It was a hard fought game.”
Munz said her players will bounce back and set their sights on the chance to give a little payback — an Oct. 18 rematch at Fieldston on the Eagles’ homecoming day.
“We have to shake this off,” Munz said. “It’s early in the season and every game is important. We can’t let this hang over our heads. We have to work even harder to go and beat Fieldston on their home court on their homecoming day.”