The anticipated Upstate Eight River volleyball showdown at St. Charles East against No. 6 Geneva in a battle of league unbeatens never really materialized on Tuesday.
The Saints rallied from a 22-19 Game 1 deficit to win 25-22, then cruised 25-15 in Game 2.
“You did not see a great showing of Geneva volleyball,” Vikings coach Annie Seitelman said. “We had a lot of unforced errors and they did a nice job of taking us out of system, made us predictable in our offense and put up a great block. They’re a really good team.”
St. Charles East coach Jennie Kull would agree, but wasn’t sure who would show up beforehand. Her team had dropped a nonconference match on Monday to Downers Grove South in two games.
What a difference a day makes.
“(We) played well (vs. Geneva),” Kull said. “I thought we had a errible match (Monday) and I was stressed. I thought they might have overlooked (Downers South) and were focused on Geneva.
“Downers was 11-10 and got a great (player) back that was phenomenal and they played like we did tonight.”
Geneva (16-3, 4-1) let the Saints (16-5, 5-0) back into Game 1 with its third service error followed by a hitting error. Avery Macklin then followed with a kill to tie it 22-all.
Sophomore Kyla Augustine then put down another Megan Schildmeyer set for a 23-22 lead. Schildmeyer, who led the Saints with eight kills, nine assists and seven digs, then served and ace. Another Geneva hitting error sealed it.
“They’re not nervous anymore and that’s a huge growing step,” Kull said.
The 5-11 Augustine and 6-3 Avery Macklin each had five kills for East.
“There wasn’t one person that did it,” Kull said. “We knew their focus would be on (6-2 middle hitter) Mikaela Mosquera and we needed other people to step up and they did.”
The Saints took an 8-3 advantage to start Game 2 and were not threatened.
Grace Loberg and Hannah Lanasa had six kills each and Ally Barrett five to lead the Vikings, who got 11 assists from Megan Cameron and eight digs from Kelsey Wicinski.
“I wish we could have made it a little more competitive,” Seitelman said. “I think at the end, it became a little more mental for us. We’ve had a couple matches where the energy wasn’t there, but tonight it was more the mental letdown.
“It comes down to serve and pass. We weren’t serving aggressively to take them out of system and they did a nice job of taking us out. It’s really hard to run an offense when you’re not passing effectively.”