No matter how good one hitter is -- and Batavia middle Kristin Koncelik has been one of the best the last four years -- it sure makes life easier for opponents if they know where the ball is going.
Geneva's Taylor Marmitt led a strong Vikings charge at the net in the second game, finishing with 4 of her team's 9 blocks in a 25-16, 25-15 victory Tuesday on Pack the Place night at Batavia.
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Geneva (6-4, 2-0 in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division) fell behind in both games but blew by Batavia (9-7, 0-2) each time. Koncelik led all players with 9 kills but no other Bulldog had more than 2.
"We've been working a bit on blocking," Geneva coach KC Johnsen said. "It's nice to work on something and it turns out well.
"That girl (Koncelik) has been hitting big balls at us since she was a freshman. We definitely came in with a little bit of respect for her. I thought our middles and left sides did a good job. It was just a fun match."
Batavia led 5-1 early in Game 1 before Geneva charged ahead 17-10 on a 16-5 surge. The Bulldogs hurt themselves with 6 hitting errors -- the start of an off night trying to get their shorts to land in. Things really went south for the Bulldogs in the second game when they hit 10 balls out including match point.
"Our sets were a little off but our hitters did not adjust well," Batavia coach Lori Trippi-Payne said. "Our hitters are experienced and the majority did not do the job at all. It was unforced hitting errors. We didn't make the plays we needed to make.
"In Game 2 Kristin stepped up and made quite a few offensive hitting plays but as we all know volleyball is a team sport. You have to be able to have all your hitters have ability to terminate or keep the ball in play."
Up 19-14 in the opener, Kelly Dalheim nearly finished out the game for Geneva with six straight service points including four aces.
"My friends gave me zones and I just kept hitting them," Dalheim said. "It was the greatest thing ever. It was just a regular float. It worked.
"At the beginning of the season we weren't doing so good, we were playing good but we weren't winning. To come out and beat Batavia is huge for us."
Briahna Havis served 2 aces early in Game 2 to again help the Bulldogs get off to a good start. Leading 8-3 at one point the game again turned Geneva's way with a 12-3 spurt that included a trio of Batavia hitting errors and the same number of Geneva blocks.
"I give Geneva a lot of credit," Trippi-Payne said. "It takes a lot of guts to come in here. They haven't won in here in a long time. They passed better in the back row than we did and ran their offense better than we did. Geneva played very well tonight and made us look bad."
Hannah Buck (10 points, 5 kills); Marmitt (4 blocks, 4 kills); Dalheim (6 digs, 4 aces); Renner Burns (3 blocks) and Nicole Schneider (7 assists) were among the statistical leaders for a Geneva team that heads to the Glenbard West Invitational this weekend.
Koncelik added 3 blocks to her match-high kill total while Audrey Faulhaber returned from injury sustained in practice last week to finish with 13 assists, 2 blocks and 7 digs.
"Many phases of our game we did not play well," Trippi-Payne said. "What I saw tonight was a team that did not look very confident on the court. We know what we are capable of doing and we did not come out with the confidence and determination we need to."