Volleyball: Lady Hubs on the court for summer workouts

Senior Payton Hale works through a passing drill during the Rochelle Lady Hub volleyball team's open gym session Monday afternoon. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Camps and league play scheduled for next month

ROCHELLE — Rochelle Lady Hub volleyball players returned to the court earlier this summer, with returning and incoming players getting a head start on the upcoming school year.

The Lady Hubs held their first open gym workout of the summer on May 30. Open gyms have been taking place every Monday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. inside the Rochelle Township High School gymnasium. Head coach Molly Sly has been encouraged with the attendance and effort that new and returning players, including the program’s senior class, have shown this summer.

“The girls look great right now,” Sly said. “The girls made great improvements during their club season and their improvements are showing on the court this summer. I’m really excited to see our seniors, especially our third-year varsity players Addie [Friestad] and Payton [Hale], step up in terms of their leadership and their work ethic on the court. They’ve put in a lot of hard work.”

In addition to open gyms, volleyball players have been attending Hub Power sessions every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8-9:30 a.m. July will be a much busier month for the Lady Hubs, with the program’s high school camp and youth camp running from July 11-14 at RTHS. Varsity and fresh-soph players will also participate in summer leagues next month, with varsity players competing in Rockford while freshmen and sophomores take the court in Sycamore. 

“It’s going to be a battle for playing time in the back row, but our back-row players look great right now,” Sly said. “Our front-row players look great as well… I’m looking to see tough, hard serves from our girls this summer and I want to see our girls go for every ball they see. It’s hard to teach that desire, so that’s what I want to see when we begin our camp and our leagues.”

The youth camp for fifth through eighth-graders will be held July 11-14 from 11-12:30 p.m. and the high school camp will take place from 12:30-2:30 p.m. League play will eventually lead the Lady Hubs into August, when official practices and matches will begin. Rochelle will have several seniors eligible to return this fall including front-row hitters Addie Friestad and Payton Hale as well as setter Isela Vasquez and back-row defenders Cass Garcia and Macy Ramos.

“Our seniors have been great this summer,” Sly said. “They’ve been offering rides to the underclassmen and they always include them in our workouts. They come here and set all of the nets up. They’re showing the freshmen and sophomores how things should be done.”