GENOA – Genoa-Kingston volleyball couldn’t have scripted a better start in their final regular-season home match against Richmond-Burton on Tuesday.
The Cogs, playing on Senior Night, raced out to five-point lead in the first game, making a dig and a block on the first two hits from Richmond-Burton senior Ali Frantti, who is committed to Penn State.
But the Rockets proved to be too much, rallying back from early deficits in both games to take a 25-16, 25-20 victory over G-K (16-13, 7-4 Big Northern Conference East)
“We kind of lost that game a little bit. Our passing broke down just a little bit and we made some service errors that we don’t normally make,” G-K coach Keith Foster said. “Again, it’s a high-pressure situation that does nothing but prepare us for regionals.”
G-K won the first five points of the first game. Samantha Hansel put down a kill on the initial point and Breea Rogalla recorded an ace while Torri Bennett followed with a kill off the pass from Rogalla.
“You’re emotional regardless of the win or loss already before the game starts,” senior libero Olivia Cotton said of playing on Senior Night. “I think the first couple points that was awesome. It got really exciting.”
Richmond-Burton rallied as Frantti recorded four consecutive kills and an ace and the Rockets ran off eight straight points to take a 15-10 lead. The Cogs closed to 19-15 after a kill from junior Bridget Halat, but the Rockets held on to win game one.
“At the net we looked great, we put down great shots,” Foster said. “We definitely made it look like they weren’t even at the net when we were swinging. Our setters made great decisions.”
Game two saw both teams go back and forth and the Cogs pulled to within 18-16 on a kill from Lindsey Sunderlage off the pass from Halat. But again Richmond-Burton held off the Cogs’ run down the stretch as a kill from Frantti from the left side ended the match in two games.
Halat led the Cogs with seven kills while Cotton had 15 digs, Rogalla dished out 10 assists and Hansel had four blocks in the losing effort.
Frantti finished with 19 kills and three aces.
The Cogs finish the regular season with a road match at Rockford Christian on Thursday before starting the postseason Tuesday as the host of the Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional.
“Our goal is to continue to make progress and while today is a loss, I let them know that we’re always preparing for regionals,” Foster said. “That’s our goal.”