Poly's Lynnea Gresham had one role to play in last night's volleyball match against three-time defending Baltimore City champ Western - to serve well.
In a match in which both teams combined for 39 service errors, Gresham strung together six strong serves to help the visiting Engineers emerge with a 15-11, 6-15, 16-14, 15-7 upset in a city non-division meeting.
Although no one knew exactly how long it had been since Poly had beaten the Doves, it could have been as long as 10 years. Poly won its last city title in 1990 with a victory over Western.
Last night, the Engineers (5-2) proved more consistent than the Doves (3-2), who struggled with passing, setting and serving.
When Gresham, who entered the match only to serve, stepped to the line for the second time in the fourth game, her team clung to a 9-7 lead.
Western struggled to get a good first pass off her crisp offerings and she served out the match.
"I was very nervous and I know they depend on me for my serving," said the junior, adding that on the last serve, "I didn't see the ball, but I hit it anyway. I just put it in God's hands."
LaDawn Biddle powered the Engineers with nine kills while Teresa Watkins had five and Deloran Wilson contributed superb setting.
The Engineers, who likely will see the Doves again in the city final, savored their victory.
"I just can't describe how it feels," said senior Kendra Reid. "I'm just so happy, because we've talked about it since the beginning of this season and we did what we needed to do."
Ericka Butler led the Doves' attack with 11 kills, and Lillian Drumgold had five.