ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball team fought hard to defend a talented and athletic Genoa-Kingston front row during Thursday’s home match against the Cogs.
Looking to build on an Interstate 8 Conference win against Plano on Tuesday, Rochelle struggled from the first serve, with the Cogs opening the match on a 14-1 run that ultimately sparked a decisive 25-7, 25-10 victory over the Lady Hubs. Seniors Macy Ramos and Isela Vasquez combined for nine digs on the Rochelle side, while sophomore Ali Ohlinger finished with five assists. The Lady Hubs (7-5-3, 1-0 Interstate 8) host Sandwich on Monday at 6 p.m.
“Genoa-Kingston has a fantastic team,” head coach Molly Sly said. “I thought our defense held up against their fantastic serves and I’m proud of what our defense did this evening. We got balls up and we were able to get some swings on their serve. They had three hitters going at all times, but we weren’t confused in the middle and we were getting to the blocks. We just needed to be a touch stronger on those touches and the ball would’ve gone back over to their side.”
The Cogs built their lead in the first set with clean passing from the back row and a strong scoring performance from the front row led by outside hitter Alayna Pierce, who rose up for multiple kill shots during the match. Rochelle fell behind early in the second set, but the Lady Hubs battled throughout the set, with senior Addie Friestad and sophomore Taelynn Rodeghero combining for three kills on the outside to keep Rochelle within striking distance of the Cogs.
But a short 3-0 run from Genoa-Kingston gave the Cogs a 16-8 lead and forced a Rochelle timeout. Despite a solid effort from the Lady Hub defense, which tracked down a ball deep on the Rochelle side of the floor late in the second set and hit it just over the net for a point, the early hole was too much to emerge from. Senior Payton Hale totaled three digs in the match.