LONG — The biggest competitors tend to show up in noticeable ways in big competitive games. The volleyball game between Poly and Lakewood on Wednesday night was no exception.

Poly’s Allanah Cutler and Lakewood’s Julia Crawford take turns playing the hero. One minute Cutler was performing a punishing kill, the next Cutler was swooping down the floor to dig for points, all in front of a crowd that had gathered at Poly gym to join the game. varsity is for pre-teens.

But in the end, Cutler, with a little help from her teammates, lifted Poly to victory in five sets with scores of 25-20, 25-27, 25-21, 20-25, 15- twelfth.

Cutler seemed commanding from the start. The senior had a number of kills in the opening set, including an explosive point at the start of the game. However, she feels like she has more to offer.

“I went out too calm,” she said.

The second season seems to follow the script of the first: Lakewood’s lead is soon taken by Poly when the Jackrabbits take control. But Lakewood failed to get through in the second half, and a touch from Crawford gave Lancer the lead.

Lakewood narrowly lost that second set after taking a 24-21 lead, but a knock and trump card from Roxii Robinson clamped down on a Crawford takedown that equalized the set.

As Cutler tried to find her way, her teammates helped keep the Jackrabbits afloat. Ana Poyer was active on the net with saves, kills and passes, while freshman Rylie McGinest contributed nine kills.

But when it came to the fifth set of a draw, it was time for Cutler to take over. She did a dive into the net and two subsequent plays added a kill. Then her 18th and final kill on one of her resounding spikes ended the rivalry game.

Poly coach Leland McGrath said of Cutler: “Years of hard work paid off. “We will do it together. It was our best game of the year.”

Cutler added: “I’ve seen so many times we lose that fight and we realize we’re losing. “We came out with that fight and that intensity and got the dubbing, and I’m thrilled.”

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