ROCHELLE — The Lady Hub varsity volleyball team came out swinging Monday evening, when Rochelle tipped off its shortened spring season against the Kaneland Knights at home.
Despite a valiant effort late in the second set, Rochelle was unable to muster up enough stops to earn the victory, falling 15-25, 20-25 to the Knights. Senior Clare Green led the Lady Hubs with 14 assists on offense, while junior Sylvia Hasz and sophomore Addie Friestad combined for 12 kills from the hitter spots. Hasz and Green each totaled two digs on defense for the Lady Hubs (0-1), who will continue Interstate 8 Conference play against the Morris Redskins next.
“I thought Kaneland looked really good and they’re a tough team to start our season off against,” Rochelle coach Lindsay Suess said. “I thought our girls played really well. We need to make some adjustments and get our middle hitters going before our match against Morris.”
Rochelle opened the match in a positive way, taking a 3-1 lead during the first set before Kaneland swung momentum in its favor with a series of kill shots from hitters Maddie Buckley and Bella Rio. The Knights compiled an 11-3 run to force a Lady Hub timeout with Rochelle trailing 12-6. Kaneland forced another timeout late in the set, holding a 20-12 advantage.
Looking to avoid the shutout, Rochelle opened the second set with another early lead, building a 4-1 advantage behind a series of successful offensive plays from Green to Hasz and Friestad on the outside. Kaneland inched its way back into the match, however, pulling within one point before igniting on another big run, a 9-4 stretch that allowed the Knights to surge ahead 19-14.
“I thought Addie and Sylvia swung great from the outside,” Suess said. “I thought Clare looked good running the offense. We need to make sure we’re continuing to move our feet on defense and we need to make sure we’re keeping our hands up so we can block more shots.”
Green and Friestad combined for four aces in the match, with two of those coming into play late in the second set as Rochelle attempted to extend the contest into a third set. Kaneland successfully closed out the match, though, splitting the final 12 points with the Lady Hubs.