Geneseo volleyball finishes strong, hosts regionals this week

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
Geneseo volleyball players, from left, No. 23, Delainey VanRycke; No. 10, Annie Wirth; No. 7, Addison Smith; and No. 14, Madi Scott, on the court in action against Newark.

Geneseo High School is the site of the IHSA Class 3A Regional Volleyball competition, on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and Thursday, Oct. 27.

No. 2 Rock Island will face No. 6 Sterling at 6 p.m. and NO. 3 Geneseo will play No. 5 LaSalle-Peru at 7 p.m.Geneseo enters the Regional with a record of 18-14.

Vs. Dixon

Last week, in the contest between Geneseo and Dixon, it was a victory in two games for GHS, 25-15 and 26-24.

The previous week had been a trial for Geneseo and when her team defeated Dixon, Coach Casey Komel said, “After one of toughest weeks I’ve ever seen as a coach, we knew we needed to be prepared to rally. Dixon is a team that doesn’t make many errors so we knew we had to come ready to earn our points. And in the first set we did just that.

“The team demonstrated that even with all of the challenges of the week before, we learned from it to become better players and a better team. There were a lot of plays that had a lot of heart and I hope we can continue to play with that as we finish off regular season and head into postseason.”

Lizzie Rapps had five kills, one ace, and seven digs; Katie VanDeWoestyne had five kills; Alysia Perez had five kills, two aces, 17 assists, and one block; Addison Smith had one ace and eight digs; Delainey VanRycke had one ace and eight digs; and Annie Wirth had one block.

The sophomores also won, 25-19 and 25-8; and the freshman team lost 4-25 and 15-25.

Vs. Sterling

Geneseo’s second win last week came on Oct. 18 against Sterling when the team beat Sterling in two games, 25-20 and 25-16.

In commenting about the win, Coach Casey Komel said, “Playing any team on their senior night is a daunting task, but the team handled the pressure really well. Our passing game was pretty strong to allow our offense more freedom to be aggressive which worked in our favor.”

Looking ahead to the Oct. 20 game, Coach Komel said, “Thursday is our own senior nigh to celebrate all that our seven seniors have done for us in their years in the Geneseo volleyball program.”

Lizzie Rapps had eight kills; Aubrey VanKerrebroeck had seven kills and two blocks; Alysia Perez had three aces and 21 assists; Delainey VanRycke had 13 digs; Kylie Maertens had six digs; Addison Smith had five digs; Annie Wirth and Aubrey VanKerrebroeck each had two blocks.

The sophomore team also won in two sets of 25-17 and 25-20. The freshman team was defeated in three sets.

Vs. Newark

On Oct. 20, Geneseo faced Newark and lost the game in two sets of 9-25 and 13-25.

Coach Komel said, “It was a successful senior night against a really tough team. The girls battled every single point; we just couldn’t string together as many points in a row as Newark did. We were able to get some great touches on some really aggressive balls but ultimately came up short. The crowd in the gym was on a new level, though with constant support from the stands that was felt the entire night.”

Jillian Benke had three kills; Madi Scott had two kills; Alysia Perez had six assists and one block; Addison Smith had two assists and nine digs; Delainey VanRycke had four digs; Lizzie Rapps had four digs; and Annie Wirth had one block.

The sophomore team lost in two sets and the freshman team lost in three sets.