Geneseo Volleyball stays unbeaten

Claudia Loucks
Taylor DeSplinter in action at the Geneseo/Moline game.
The Geneseo Girls Volleyball team with Coach Casey Komel at the Geneseo/Moline match held at Wharton Field House in Moline. Abbi and Maddi Barickman, Numbers 6 and 8, had stand-out performances in the contest.

GENESEO AT MOLINE ON 4/1/21

It was “double trouble” for the Moline Maroons when the Geneseo Lady Leafs traveled to Wharton Field House in Moline and returned to Geneseo undefeated.

It took three games, but Geneseo finished by winning in 17-25, 28-26, and 25-20 to move to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the Western Big 6 conference.

The “double trouble” was the effort put into the contest by twin sisters, Abbi and Maddi Barickman and the entire Lady Leafs.

Abbi Barickman led the Leafs in kills with 15 and Maddi Barickman had 7 kills and a match-high 21 assists.

Maddi Barickman also had 6 digs and 2 blocks, and Abbi Barickman recorded 1 ace in the contest.

Other team members contributing to the victory were Hannah Copeland totaling 7 kills, and 5 blocks; Talbert scored 6 kills; Addie Dunker had 13 assists and 7 digs; Maggi Weller had 18 digs and Taylor DeSplinter had 11 digs; and Emma Frank added 1 block.

Under the current guidelines in place as a result of Covid-19, visiting fans are allowed to attend the competition and that made an impression on the Leafs.

Maddi Barickman said Wharton Field House “has become one of my favorite places to play since Geneseo joined the Western Big 6. Being able to have fans from both teams made a huge difference and the atmosphere was super fun to play in.”

And even though having fans was a plus for both teams, Geneseo lost the first set, but bounced back to finish by winning the final two sets.

“Going into the game, we knew it was going to be a back and forth battle, but we had the confidence in ourselves and each other to overcome the challenge,” she said. “We were able to play to our strengths and make the necessary adjustments to come out and win that second set after losing the first. Wining the second set gave us the momentum and energy that we needed to close it out in the third set.”

Her twin sister, Abbi Barickman, said the Leafs were well aware that playing Moline for a second time was going to be a challenge, “but if we played our style of volleyball, we could really compete.”

“A key for us was staying confident in our abilities and playing to our strengths,” she added. “Having student sections and fans for both teams made this game come to life and exciting to play in.”

Abbi Barickman said for most the games this season, “we have been missing some of our supporters due to ticket availability in place as a result of the pandemic, so having them there was incredible. I think the atmosphere they created gave us the extra energy we needed to win this intense game.”

Geneseo Coach Casey Komel was happy with her team’s performance and the confidence they showed, and she said, “This was a game we knew going in would be super competitive, especially at the net. The three-set match had a lot of great play on both sides with a lot of great kills and great blocks.”

She said, “We started to play more timid than we normally do, but once we got our rhythm back, things seemed to go smoother. It was still a big challenge because Moline is a great team, but with some control and a lot of confidence we were able to continue our success.”

GENESEO AT NEWARK ON 3/31/21

The Geneseo Volleyball team traveled to Newark on Wednesday, March 31, and left with another win added to their unbeaten record with sets of 25-22, 20-25 and 25-20.

Varsity Coach Casey Komel said, “As two-time 1A State Champs, (2018 and 2019) we knew heading to Newark was going to present us with a high level of competition. Their team was dominated by fast and smart offense from one of their outside hitters.”

“I’m so proud of the team for the adjustments they made in order to rise to the challenge to get the job done. It was an entire team effort, those on the court and those on the bench.”

Abbi Barickman had a game high of 15 kills and 1 block; Hannah Copeland had 10 kills and 1 block; Cadence Talbert had 6 kills and 1 block; and Maddi Barickman had 6 kills, 2 aces, 15 assists, 8 digs and 2 blocks.

Also, Taylor DeSplinter scored 3 aces; Addie Dunker had 15 assists; Maggi Weller added 15 digs and Emma Frank had 1 block.