Lady Leafs want to be scrappy

Chris Steele
Maggi Weller jumps to serve during Geneseo's regional win over Kewanee last season.

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.