Back-to-backs don’t slow down Geneva in win over Aurora Central

Geneva’s visit to Aurora Central Catholic on Wednesday had the makings of a classic trap game.

The Vikings were coming off a big win over rival Batavia the night before and were playing back-to-back midweek games for the first time this season.

But in the end there was nothing for Geneva coach Annie Sietelman to worry about as the Vikings used their concussive hitting to pound the host Chargers 25-12, 25-16 in Aurora.

“[No letdown] was the hope after such an emotional, kind of high-intensity game,” Sietelman said. “It was nice to see them bounce right back today because we haven’t had any Wednesday matches, so to go back-to-back, it’s nice to see them come out, take care of business and get the job done.”

ACC scored the first two points and led 5-4 in the opener, only to see Geneva (23-6) go on a 12-2 run behind the serving of Megan Cameron and Grace Loberg to take command. An ace from Merric Olson gave the Vikings a 21-9 lead and another ace by Mikalya Lanasa completed a four-point run that broke a 4-4 tie early in Game 2.

“Our mentality was we just had to keep up with the energy and to go for every single ball and not let any ball hit the floor,” Lanasa said. “Our mental ability had to stay up 24/7 in both games.”

And it did. The Vikings made just one hitting error over the first 32 points and only four until late in the match, proving that it wasn’t tough for them to get up to play the Chargers.

“No, I don’t think [it was difficult] because since we won against Batavia, it gave us a lot more positive energy to win against a team like this,” Lanasa said. “We did a lot better.”

The Chargers (8-19) played well defensively, flying around the court to extend many rallies. But it all went for naught as Lanasa and Coleman ran Geneva’s 6-2 offense to perfection. Eight players combined for 23 kills for the Vikings, while ACC tallied only five.

“I feel loaded,” Lanasa said. “I know I can set anyone and I trust that they’ll give us the point. I’m so proud of them.”

Allyson Barrett led the Vikings with seven kills, while Grace Loberg had five kills, Jaclyn Weilandt added four and Lanasa two to go with 10 assists. Cameron chipped in seven assists to go with eight service points.

That was more than enough to overcome a nine-dig effort by ACC senior Morgan Spencer.

“They played really well on defense,” Barrett said. “They were super scrappy and got everything up. It was a lot harder than some games to get the kill and you just have to stay disciplined and not get down when they keep digging you.

“I’m pretty proud of us. We worked hard.”

Spencer and Sydney Audiffred-Zavner had two kills each to pace the Chargers, who were unable to translate their scrappy defense into an effective offense.

“They have a lot more weapons than we have,” ACC coach Dan Drye said. “You have to play a perfect game and hope they’re a little off.

“I think we had eight hitting errors and two block errors in the first set. They’re going to make enough points as it is without you making a bunch of errors to give them points.”

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