ROCHELLE — Zoey Tabor had been watching the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball team compete from the bench for most of her senior season as she continued working her way back from a hip injury. When the Lady Hubs celebrated Senior Night against Plano on Monday, Tabor helped solidify Rochelle’s back row in a 28-30, 25-15, 25-13 victory over the Reapers.
One of two seniors honored Monday evening, Tabor chipped in two digs, two assists and two aces from her defensive specialist position as the Lady Hubs bounced back from a first-set loss to improve their record to 14-15 overall. Rochelle’s other senior, three-year varsity starter Sylvia Hasz, finished with a team-high 19 assists while adding nine digs and three kills.
“It feels great being able to get back,” Tabor said. “I’m still working of moving around more fluidly, but I’m happy to be back with the team. It’s a lot more fun playing than watching and I’m happy that I can have a good time with my teammates. I think my serves, my passing and my encouragement will definitely help the team out as we get ready for the regional.”
It was a slow start for the Lady Hubs, who fell behind 10-3 early in the first set before nearly bringing it back toward the end. Despite forcing two Plano timeouts, Rochelle fell just short, with the Reapers taking advantage of service errors and hits out of bounds to take the first-set lead. The Lady Hubs turned up the heat during the second set, however, breaking off a 13-4 run that began with one senior (Tabor) on the serve and the other (Hasz) netting an ace.
“I definitely feel like I worked hard for this and I was happy that I could enjoy this night,” Hasz said. “I’m very thankful for what all of our underclassmen did because they made this night very special. It’s been different for me now that I’m setting more often and I’m not scoring as many points, but I enjoy seeing my hitters perform well and I think I can help them a lot.”
The run was enough for the Lady Hubs to stretch their lead and even the match with a second-set victory. With Hasz facilitating the offense, Rochelle opened the third set with a 9-4 run that saw junior Addie Friestad, who finished with a team-high 11 kills, pound multiple shots into the Plano zone. Sophomore Kennedy Adamski and junior Payton Hale, who each had four kills in the middle, also stepped up to deliver key points for the Lady Hubs in the final set on Monday.
Rochelle will conclude the regular season with matches against Morris and Ottawa before beginning the IHSA 3A Burlington Central Regional as the No. 5 seed next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
“I think we can make a run at the regional,” Hasz said. “I think we have to start off strong, which was something we didn’t do tonight. If we’re ready to go, we should be in good shape.”