ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity volleyball team recently completed its third season with double-digit victories under head coach Molly Sly. The Lady Hubs will shoot for a fourth double-digit win season next year, but they’ll have to do so without three-time All-Conference First-Team honoree Sylvia Hasz, one of the team’s two seniors this year.
Rochelle finished 16-16 overall and fourth in the eight-team Interstate 8 Conference with an 8-6 conference record this season. The Lady Hubs swept matchups with LaSalle-Peru, Plano and Ottawa while splitting matchups with Sandwich and Morris. The Rochelle offense rallied around Hasz, who totaled 198 kills and 42 aces while setting a new RTHS career kills record (644).
“I wasn’t sure who would step up for us when the season started or who would be able to play what positions,” Sly said. “We moved Sylvia to the setter position as the season progressed and I thought that helped our offense. We were down a few players when the season started, but our kids stepped up and played really well over that time. We earned some big wins this season and we beat all of the teams in our conference except for the top two, which was encouraging.”
Hasz and defensive specialist Zoey Tabor are the team’s two departing seniors this season. Rochelle will return several juniors, however, including outside hitter Addie Friestad (153 kills) and middle blocker Payton Hale (38 blocks, 54 kills), who each have two years of varsity experience. Junior libero Macy Ramos (34 aces), setter Isela Vasquez, defensive specialist Cassandra Garcia and right-side hitter Baylie Sutton are also eligible to return next year.
“Players like Sylvia don’t come around very often and it’s really tough to replace them,” Sly said. “We’re hoping that next season’s roster will be a fun puzzle to put together and we’re looking forward to finding new fits. Our goal for next season will be preparing our girls for the regional. I thought the nerves got to us this season, so I’m hoping that I can create some more intense practice plans and apply a bit more pressure so we come prepared to play every match.”