Volleyball: Front row makes strides against Morris

Sophomore Addie Friestad (center) and senior Afi Gati (right) celebrate a blocked shot during the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball match against Morris on Tuesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Lady Hubs total six blocks in 15-25, 20-25 loss to Redskins

ROCHELLE — Despite some strong blocks and quality kill shots, unforced errors in the back row hurt the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball team Tuesday evening, when the Morris Redskins came to town for an Interstate 8 Conference matchup.

Morris took the first set after a commanding start to the match. Rochelle fought back in the second set, leading the Redskins by two points before Morris tallied six consecutive points to help seal a 25-15, 25-20 victory over the Lady Hubs. Rochelle fell to 0-2 overall with the loss.

“I thought we looked better in the front row tonight,” coach Lindsay Suess said. “We had a lot of really good blocks… We made a lot of unfortunate mistakes in the first set and we had to take a deep breath and focus on what we can control on our side of the court. Our biggest adjustments will be keeping the ball in bounds and making better plays at the net.”

Morris took advantage of shaky serve-receives from Rochelle early in the match, sparking an 8-1 run and forcing the Lady Hubs to use their first timeout. Rallying behind senior hitter Kennedy Dransfeldt, the Redskins continued to compile points, extending their lead to 18-8 and making Rochelle spend a second timeout.

Looking to bounce back, Rochelle started the second set strong, with senior defender Alexis Sanford notching two service aces for the Lady Hubs. Rochelle’s offense began picking up momentum in the second set as well, with senior setter Clare Green finding outside hitters Sylvia Hasz and Addie Friestad for a series of kill shots that helped the Lady Hubs build and maintain a slight lead over the Redskins.

Leading 19-17, Rochelle conceded six unanswered points, burning two timeouts during the 6-0 stretch. Morris scored two of the final three points in the match to seal the victory. Green led Rochelle with 10 assists and two blocks, while Hasz and Friestad each finished with five kills. Senior Afi Gati totaled two blocks and Hasz compiled a team-leading three aces. Rochelle will face Ottawa on the road Thursday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m.

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