Girls volleyball: Geneva opens DuKane with three-set win over Wheaton Warrenville South
Cassidy Brown delivered when needed to solidify the desired result for Geneva in its league opener Tuesday evening.
The 6-foot outside hitter had 3 of her 12 kills in a 6-point span in the decisive third set to power the Vikings to a come-from-behind 18-25, 25-18, 25-21 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South.
Brown, a junior, secured match point for Geneva with the last of her kills.
The DuKane Conference girls volleyball match ended moments later in Geneva on a WW South hitting error.
"We got off to a shaky start in the first set, but we had prepared so much for this game," Brown said. "At the end we just worked so hard for this. I think that's what brought it all back together. By the third set we figured out what we needed to do."
Brown broke the final two ties of the match, at 20-20 and 21-21, with her pair of kills preceding the winner that set up match point.
WW South (6-4, 0-1) rallied feverishly in overcoming deficits of as much as 6 points in the last third of the set behind the all-around play of Sarah Burau, who finished with team-highs of 24 assists and 3 aces.
Two Burau aces brought the Tigers to within 20-19 of the Vikings (5-3, 1-0).
Lizzie Chiesa then recorded the last of her team-best 10 kills to forge the deadlock Brown would dislodge.
"I was just going where coach (Bill Schreier) was telling me to serve," Burau said. "I was really happy I was able to pull it out at the end. We wanted to give it our all in the end because we know Geneva is a good team."
Geneva forced the third set principally by opening game No. 2 with 14 of the first 18 points.
Brown had an extended service run during the sequence; Devynn Day and Grace Hinchman also came to the forefront for the Vikings.
The former would lead all athletes with 13 kills, and Hinchman, the Vikings' libero, orchestrated the Geneva comeback with 21 digs.
Anna Loberg was equally masterful for the Vikings in their three-set thriller, leading both teams with 27 assists while adding 10 digs.
Day had a kill to close out the Tigers, who rallied significantly before another Geneva run proved lethal, to force the ultimate tiebreaker.
"It being our first conference game we wanted to come out very aggressive and stay positive," Hinchman said. "(Brown and Day) did a great job of staying aggressive when we were in tight situations."
"You think that (second-set comeback) is going to carry over to the third set, and -- you know what -- it didn't," Schreier said. "We gave up too many points in a row. We always talk about 'one-and-done from the service line' and that wasn't happening."
Chiesa led WW South with 10 kills; Zayna Meyer and Kaleigh Ammons added 8 and 7 kills, respectively.