ROCHELLE — Junior setter Isela Vasquez commanded the Rochelle varsity volleyball team’s offense on Tuesday, racking up 23 assists as the Lady Hubs downed Ottawa 26-24, 25-16 for an Interstate 8 Conference win. Rochelle improved to 10-10 overall with the victory.
“I spend a lot of time working on individual sets during practice,” Vasquez said. “My hitters talk to me a lot about where they like to have the ball set to them. It was a big win for my confidence and knowing that I can set my hitters up for success. Once we start getting our momentum going, we work off that momentum really well and that’s what helped us win tonight.”
The Lady Hubs opened the match with junior Macy Ramos on the serve, scoring seven straight points and forcing an early timeout from the Pirates. Despite Rochelle receiving multiple kill shots from junior Addie Friestad on the outside, Ottawa slowly worked its way back to tie the first set at 16-16 before eventually slipping ahead 22-21. The Lady Hubs recovered to win a tight opening set, with sophomore Kennedy Adamski scoring on a tip to help seal the first set.
“We ran more plays on offense than we did during our first matchup against Ottawa,” Vasquez said. “We’ve spent more time with each other since that match and we’ve learned more about how we play. We’ve talked with each other a lot more and that communication has helped us.”
Rochelle opened the second set in nearly identical fashion to the first set, breaking off a 6-0 run with Ramos on the serve. Ottawa capitalized on some back-row errors midway through the set, coming within three points of the Lady Hubs before taking a timeout with a 19-14 lead.
Senior Sylvia Hasz stepped up to help close out the victory, scoring several kills late in the match and helping the Lady Hubs end the night on a 5-0 run. Hasz totaled a team-high 11 kills, while junior Cassandra Garcia led the defense with nine digs and junior Payton Hale added five kills.