ROCHELLE — Lady Hub sophomore and first-year varsity player Sylvia Hasz looked like a seasoned veteran on the court when the Rochelle volleyball team tipped off the 2019 season at home against Ashton-Franklin Center on Tuesday.
Hasz stepped up in multiple ways for the Lady Hubs, recording three kills, three digs, two aces and one block while keeping several balls alive with her passing. The sophomore helped ignite an 18-4 rally in the first set that allowed Rochelle to steal momentum away from the Raiders and win the match by a final score of 25-18, 25-12. The Lady Hubs are 1-0 on the season.
“My adrenaline was running really fast,” Hasz said. “We knew we didn’t start as strong as we could and our coaches helped us focus and stay determined to go back out there and start swinging. We have a lot of talent and I think we can go far if we really work together.”
The Lady Hubs struggled to find their rhythm early in the match, falling behind 11-4 in the first set before head coach Molly Sly called Rochelle’s first timeout to stall the Ashton-Franklin Center offense. The Raiders quickly saw their lead vanish, however, as Hasz and senior Maggie Duval led a 9-2 run that tied the match at 13-13. The Raiders were unable to handle Rochelle’s serves throughout the match, and the Lady Hubs were eager to take advantage.
“When they’re struggling to handle serves, we have to take advantage and keep our feet on the gas pedal,” junior Clare Green said. “Starting 1-0 gives us a lot of energy and confidence in what we’re able to do, and we know we can come back from being down by a lot.”
Ashton’s inability to contain the Rochelle service balls led to several free chances for the Lady Hubs, who rallied behind senior hitters Katie Van Hise (eight kills) and Allison Seebach (five kills) to close out the opening set. The Lady Hubs continued punishing Ashton in the second set, starting on an 8-1 run as Green (seven assists) and Duval (eight assists) keep the Rochelle offense efficient and organized.
“Our front row is definitely one of our strengths because those girls have been playing together for a long time,” Green said. “One of the things we talk about in practice is that we may not be the most talented team, but we’re always going to be the most hard-working team.”
Ashton didn’t come close during the second set, as the Raiders trailed 20-11 before calling their second timeout of the set and their last of the match. The Lady Hubs will try and stay unbeaten at Dixon on Thursday at 6 p.m.