Volleyball: Lady Hubs rally over Plano for first victory

Senior Afi Gati blocks a shot at the middle of the net during the Rochelle Lady Hub volleyball match against Plano on Tuesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Rochelle snaps four-match losing skid, wins 25-14, 15-25, 25-17

PLANO — Having been through the rigors of three-set matches throughout her four-year varsity volleyball career at Rochelle Township High School, Lady Hub senior Clare Green stepped up for her team Tuesday evening, when Rochelle faced Plano in an Interstate 8 Conference matchup.

With both teams seeking their first victories of the season, Rochelle and Plano split the first two sets before the Lady Hubs fell behind 10-6 midway through the third set. Digging deep, Green led Rochelle to a late-set rally, with the Lady Hubs taking the lead before eventually sealing a 25-14, 15-25, 25-17 win over Plano. Green finished with 26 assists and three aces for the Lady Hubs (1-4), who ended the night on a 9-2 run to snap a four-match losing streak.

“We knew that what happened during the second set wasn’t how we play Rochelle volleyball,” Green said. “We knew we had to step up and play at our level. We have more confidence now and we know what it feels like to win. Even though we had a rough start to our season last week, we didn’t get down on ourselves and we continued to work hard in practice.”

Rochelle and Plano opened the match with a 7-7 tie in the first set before the Lady Hubs rallied off four straight points behind a series of kill shots from junior Sylvia Hasz, who led Rochelle with 15 kills on Tuesday. With senior Alexis Sanford serving well for the Lady Hubs, Rochelle built an eight-point advantage, surging ahead 20-12 before closing the set on a 5-2 run.

“We showed that we can be a good team,” Hasz said. “We worked together really well early in the match. I think this win shows everyone on our team that we’re capable of winning.”
Plano wouldn’t shy away in the second set, however, with senior hitter Anna Gonzalez pounding the Lady Hub defense with a barrage of powerful kill shots to ignite the Reaper offense. With Gonzalez leading the charge and Rochelle’s back row struggling to receive tough serves from the Reapers, Plano easily claimed the second set after opening with a 16-5 run.

As Plano lined multiple blockers up to defend Hasz, sophomores Addie Friestad, Payton Hale and senior Bella Lodico found their offensive rhythm during the third set, with each player scoring kills to keep Rochelle in the match. Short balls also became effective for the Lady Hubs, who erased a four-point deficit with a 10-5 run to take their first lead of the third set at 16-15. Friestad and Hale combined for 12 kills for the Lady Hubs, who face Sandwich on Thursday.

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