Lady Leafs want to be scrappy
The Geneseo volleyball team wants to raise the bar.
After finishing with the most wins (17) since the 2009 season, the Lady Leafs are focusing on playing even better teams to force them to compete at the highest levels.
“We added some games in tournaments that will have tougher competition to better prepare us for the postseason,” Geneseo Coach Casey Komel said. “Even if that increases or decreases our wins, I think it will be beneficial to the team in the long run.”
With a lot of players returning who have varsity or club experience, Komel believes Geneseo’s volleyball IQ will set them apart this season.
Komel loves the depth of this year’s squad.
When the Lady Leafs split up for practice, Komel hardly sees a drop off in talent.
“Not a lot of teams have that opportunity to be scrimmaging against your other top players,” Komel said. “I think that has helped us in practice.”
During her tenure, Komel has brought a never give up attitude to the Lady Leafs.
She wants that reputation to continue to grow into something Geneseo can be known for doing especially on defense.
“A term that’s often used is scrappy,” Komel said. “That’s a lot of times describing teams that are defensively sound. It’s where they can make any defensive play playable, rather than just getting the ball over the net.”
Alleman at Geneseo
The Lady Leafs’ scrappy mentality has already made an impact earning them a comeback three-set win in the season opener against the Pioneers, in Geneseo, on Aug. 28.
Geneseo was unable to hold onto a lead in the first set, but the Leafs battled back for a 23-25, 25-16, 25-18 victory.
The Lady Leafs’ Hannah Himmelman led the way with 12 kills, four blocks and three digs.
A sophomore, the Leafs’ Maddi Barickman set up the offense finishing with 27 assists adding eight digs, four blocks and three aces.
The Leafs’ Elli Weller and Maggi Weller defended the backline with 12 digs each.
Geneseo’s Emily Pobanz tallied seven kills and two digs, and Alex Horne finished with seven kills and three blocks.
Lady Leafs' roster
1 Maggi Weller 10 L/DS
2 Elli Weller 12 L/DS
3 Cora Varland 11 RS
5 Keeli Frerichs 11 DS
6 Madeline Barickman 10 S/RS
7 Rachel Daniels 12 DS
8 Abigail Barickman 10 OH
12 Hannah Adams 11 RS/S
14 Emily Pobanz 12 OH
15 Eden McAvoy 11 RS/MB
18 Alexandria Horne 12 MB
19 Hannah Himmelman 12 MB
20 Bailey Mitchell 11 RS
Coach: Casey Komel. Assistant Coaches: Ali Stern, Jenna Reschke and Ally Ator. Managers: Rachel Shoemaker and Katie Jagers.
Lady Leafs’ volleyball schedule
Aug. 28 Alleman at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 1 Limestone Varsity Invitational Limestone High School 8:30 a.m.
Sept. 1 Washington Soph Invite Washington High School 9 a.m.
Sept. 8 Geneseo Tournament Geneseo High School 9 a.m.
Sept. 10 Galesburg at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 11 LaSalle-Peru at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 13 Geneseo at Sterling Sterling High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 15 Clinton Varsity Invite Clinton High School 8:30 a.m.
Sept. 17 Geneseo at Rock Island Rock Island High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 20 Rochelle at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 25 Geneseo at Ottawa Ottawa High School 5 p.m.
Sept. 27 Sycamore at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.
Oct. 2 Geneseo at Yorkville Yorkville High School 5 p.m.
Oct. 4 Geneseo at LaSalle-Peru LaSalle-Peru High School 5 p.m.
Oct. 9 Sterling at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.
Oct. 11 Geneseo at United Township United Township High School 5 p.m.
Oct. 13 Linda Ludwig Tourney Eastland High School TBA
Oct. 13 NIB 12 Freshman tourney Westwood Sports Complex, Sterling 9 a.m.
Oct. 13 NIB 12 Sophomore tourney Westwood Sports Complex, Sterling 9 a.m.
Oct. 16 Geneseo at Rochelle Rochelle High School 5 p.m.
Oct. 18 Ottawa at Geneseo Geneseo High School 5 p.m.