Geneva comes from behind to beat Batavia
The modern-day Hatfields and McCoys traveled to Addison Thursday night to engage in their fourth girls volleyball regional championship in the last six years.
Geneva, after allowing Batavia to score the last 5 points in the opening game, returned the favor in the second game.
The Vikings used the momentum in the tiebreaker to establish a quick 9-point lead, only to see Batavia fight back in customary style.
But Geneva preserved in the end to capture the Addison Trail Class 4A regional title with a heart-stopping 20-25, 25-22 and 25-20 victory.
Fourth-seeded Geneva (27-9) advances to meet Glenbard West, the top seed of the Vikings' sectional complex, Tuesday night in Geneva.
Batavia, the No. 5 seed, closed out its season at 20-17.
"We should have had (Geneva) in Game 2," Batavia coach Lori Trippi-Payne said. "We gave up too much of a lead in Game 3. It's always a dogfight with (Geneva)."
Geneva coach KC Johnsen had a similar viewpoint.
"(Batavia) was the (No.) 5 seed, and we were the No. 4 seed," Johnsen said. "If you're the underdog, you want to win in two (sets)."
A pair of Shea Stanley kills and an Audrey Faulhaber ace were the centerpiece of the Bulldogs' 5-point unanswered run to snap the final first-game tie at 20-20.
Geneva was staring at extinction, trailing 22-20 in the second set, when Maddie Courter completed altered the contest with a block.
"That was a huge point," Johnsen said.
Batavia had a net violation to give Geneva the lead for good, and Geneva duplicated the 5-point game-closing run with kills from Taylor Marmitt and no-look, two-handed thrust by Courtney Caruso.
Geneva threatened to make the third set anticlimactic after scoring 9 of the first 11 points.
The only Batavia points during the run came on Geneva serving errors as the Vikings' formidable front line of Hannah Lanasa and Grace Loberg were unstoppable.
The duo would ultimately combine for 19 kills.
"We knew we had to come out with more energy," said Loberg, the freshman sensation who finished with 11 kills, matched by the Bulldogs' Stanley and Heather Meyer for top kill honors.
"We kept moving and really wanted to win," said Lanasa, who ended with 8 kills.
"(Batavia) kind of caught up to us (in Game 3), but we pulled it through to end the game."
Facing a 17-9 third-game deficit, Batavia rallied as a Meyer kill launched a 6-1 counterattack that reduced the Geneva cushion to 18-15.
But another Marmitt block for Geneva was a backbreaker, and Loberg sent her squad back to their home gym for a date with the Hilltoppers, who had no problems dispatching Schaumburg in West Chicago.
"I think, offensively, they have a few more weapons than we have," Trippi-Payne said.
Kelsey Wicinski had an astonishing 43 digs to pace the Vikings' defensive effort against Stanley and Meyer principally, who had their Batavia careers come to a close.
Stanley (11 kills), Meyer (11 kills), Maddie Jaudon (19 digs), Jancy Lundberg (4 blocks) and Faulhaber (24 assists) led Batavia.
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