POLAND OH- If you looked at the records coming in to Monday night in the match between United and Poland, you’d think it might be a mismatch. Then, if you also knew Poland was down two starters, you might not give the Bulldogs a shot. Well, Poland took a huge step in the growth of their program with a gritty five set victory (25-15 23-25 25-16 18-25 15-13). 

United took some time to find a rhythm. The first set was full of out of system points, and attack errors. Poland took advantage of the unsteady Eagles and dominated set 1.

The Eagles regrouped however, it was a much cleaner set two, but the Bulldogs has momentum. Kenzie Szolek had a great set swinging from the left side, and the back row. Sarah Forsyth also took some points from the right. United was up to the test as they started to get their big hitter Tori Tschappatt involved in the offense. They scrapped to a two point victory in set two.

The story of the third set was front row adjustments by Poland. Their blocks started to consistently get their hands on the Eagles swings. They either blocked the ball, or got enough of it to make life easier on their back row. When United tried to adjust to the big blocking, more attack errors followed. Poland would take another lopsided set 25-16.

United finally rolled on all cylinders in the fourth set when they needed it to keep the match alive. The started to get consistent contributions from multiple spots on the floor, making it much harder for the Bulldogs block to anticipate the United offense. United won their best played set of the night 25-18.

By the fifth set both teams had adjusted multiple times in the match. Both teams looked sharp, and it made for a thrilling finale. Down 11-8, Poland rattled off four in a row to take a 12-11 lead. Both teams traded points back and forth, until Poland finally made the push to clinch the match 15-13.

Lexi Kalicatzaros was a problem for the Eagles totaling 17 kills on the night. Maddie Wess led the way setting up 9 assists. Alyssa Glaros patrolled the back row leading the Bulldogs with 26 digs. Katie McDonald was big stepping up with 5 blocks. Sophia Dedo served 4 aces.

United was led by Tschappatt who finished with a double double with 11 kills, 12 digs, and 2 blocks. Taylor Cope was also strong in the middle, collecting 10 kills. Haley Dees also grabbed a double double with 33 assists, and 12 digs. Madison Boyle led the defense with 23 digs.

Poland will try to use this momentum and carry it to Girard on Tuesday. United will get back to league play on Tuesday as they host Leetonia.