ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball team will lean heavily on its returning starters when head coach Molly Sly and the Rochelle netters tip off the 2021 season with a nonconference home match against Ashton-Franklin Center on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m.
The Lady Hubs held their first practice of the fall season Monday afternoon. Rochelle will look to improve on its 7-10 record and its fourth-place finish in the Interstate 8 Conference from the condensed spring season earlier this year. Senior and two-time All-Conference First Team outside hitter Sylvia Hasz headlines Rochelle’s returning varsity starters this season.
“We’re excited and I’m seeing a lot of new faces as well as incoming freshmen I wasn’t expecting to see,” Sly said. “We started off struggling during our summer league, but we finished on a really high note and I thought the mistakes we made toward the end of our league were mistakes that can be easily fixed during practice or even during a match.”
Junior hitters Payton Hale and Addie Friestad will also return to solidify the Lady Hub attack on the front line. Rochelle will need to replace four-year varsity setter Clare Green, whose career concluded in the spring with over 1,400 assists to her name. Juniors Macy Ramos and Isela Vasquez are two newcomers who could see playing time at the setter position this fall.
Rochelle will also call up two underclassmen to the varsity roster including sophomore Kennedy Adamski and freshman Taelynn Rodeghero. The Lady Hubs are looking to replace multiple starters in the back row from the spring including Alexis Sanford and starting libero Ellie Kinn.
“Our hitters are bringing a lot of experience and I saw a lot of improvements and leadership from them during the summer,” Sly said. “I’m looking for more of that from them… We need to put a lot of work in on the back row. We have an open libero position as well. Whoever puts in the work and goes after every ball is the player we’re going to have in our starting lineup. Our goals are always to be a top-3 conference team and make the sectional tournament.”