Fresh off a win over Waubonsie Valley and a strong close to the regular season, South Elgin came into the Class 4A Batavia regional Tuesday on a bit of a roll.
Unfortunately for the Storm, Geneva is even hotter.
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The No. 2 seeded Vikings didn't have much trouble with No. 15 South Elgin, breaking free midway through Game 1 and then rolling to a 25-19, 25-9 victory.
Winners of 10 straight, the Vikings (27-9) will play No. 8 seed Batavia (20-16) at 6 p.m. Thursday for the regional championship while South Elgin ends it season at 20-10-3.
"We've been working really hard in practice and the work is paying off, obviously," Geneva junior middle Taylor Marmitt said. "Everyone, our hitters, back row, our setters, was on tonight. I'm really happy with my team."
The teams fought back and forth through seven ties and four lead changes early in Game 1. The Storm took their biggest lead at 12-9 when Amanda Nadler put a ball away.
Geneva scored 12 of the next 15 points to go up 21-15. Marmitt came alive during that stretch with 3 kills and a block. She finished the match with 5 kills and 4 blocks.
"Taylor had a really nice night for us blocking and scoring points and our setters do a pretty good job recognizing where we can get some points from," Geneva coach KC Johnsen said of his unique lineup of rotating three setters Courtney Caruso (10 assists), Sammy Gola (9 assists) and Nicole Schneider (7 assists).
South Elgin never got within 4 points the rest of the game. Hannah Buck ended it with a block.
It was the Storm's effort at the net that Storm coach Joni Plach said needed to be better.
"The first game we played well," Plach said. "Geneva runs a very fast-paced offense and we didn't get all the blocks we needed to tonight."
Tied at 3 in the second game, Geneva scored 6 straight with Kelly Dalheim serving. She had 2 aces in the run and 4 in the match.
Geneva cruised from there. Senior Becca Spitzig got a big cheer from her teammates when she entered for the first time on the final point, and Spitzig then delivered the match-clinching kill.
Buck and Jess Wicinski tied for the Geneva lead with 6 kills. Hannah Lanassa added 4.
Maddie Courter paced Geneva's effort at the net with 6 blocks. Dalheim led the defense with 15 digs; Kelsey Wicinski added 11 and Buck 8.
Marmitt said it's been that total effort -- defense, setting, hitting, serving and blocking -- coming through during their 10-game streak.
"I think our defense is on a roll," Marmitt said. "They started good this season and keep going up. They are peeking now. Without them we wouldn't be anything. It's almost like they have faith in us to hit the ball and we have faith in them to pass it to us. Once they do their job we do our job and it's all working out."
Nadler and Allison Osborne had 4 kills for the Storm. Corbin Kehe added 12 assists and Rachel Murray 9 digs.
"We kind of got down on ourselves the second game," Plach said. "We've been talking about lots of talk, lots of focused talk, and our communication kind of broke down the second game."