Girls volleyball: McHenry tips Hampshire in 3 sets
McHenry's Mollie Hobson isn't afraid to let it fly.
"She brings it constantly on every point, nothing brings that kid down," McHenry coach Hilary Agnello said. "She's not afraid of who's on the other side of the net, it never even crosses her mind. I think she likes that kind of challenge."
Hobson was up to the challenge Tuesday night and had everything working for the Warriors in a 25-16, 17-25, 25-20 win over Hampshire in their Fox Valley Conference match at McHenry's Freshman Campus.
Hobson started the third set with a booming kill, and McHenry (6-5, 2-3 FVC) never trailed again. The junior outside hitter had a match-high 10 kills, four aces and two blocks to lead the Warriors to their fifth win in six matches. McHenry started the year 0-3.
Hobson said the Warriors lost some focus going into the second set, which showed up in unforced errors and sloppy play. They ended the first set on an 11-2 run after the teams were tied at 14.
"We kind of fell down in the second [set] because we were so high and mighty in the first," Hobson said. "Coming back from that second set loss and really shifting our mindset helped us out a ton. I think focus and teamwork are the top two things that are important to our team because it matters how you communicate on the court and it matters how reluctant you are on the ball."
Agnello said the Warriors had a hard time getting into an offensive flow in the second set.
"They [Hampshire] were passing and we weren't," Agnello said. "In the Fox Valley Conference, everybody's so freaking good and everybody can hit the ball so hard. The team that's going to ball control is going to pull it out. We were able to do that in the third [set]."
Junior Ella Boland was second on McHenry with seven kills and two aces. Ella Jenkins recorded 15 assists, Regina Anelli led the defense with 13 digs, and Lynette Alsot added four kills and a block.
Boland scored the final two points for the Warriors, which clinched the win on coach Agnello's birthday.
"We had more energy in the third set, and we started to work more as a team," Boland said. "Overall, the crowd was really loud. The energy of the gym was so nice. We really wanted to win on our coach's birthday."
Hampshire senior Emily Mohr led the Whips with six aces, a block and two kills. Gabi Peter had seven kills and two aces, Emilia Frankiewicz and Makena Hoberg both finished with five kills apiece, and Sam Freeman was dominant at the net with six blocks.
Whips coach Rejhan Vunic said Mohr has been a big early-season leader.
"She brings fire and energy, and she basically controls the offense," Vunic said. "She's kind of the heart and soul of the team. She's trying to be a leader on and off the court, and she's doing well at it."
Tuesday's match was the first to go three sets this year for McHenry. Hobson had a good time showing off in front of the home fans.
"It's fun getting kills, and it's fun showing off sometimes, but sometimes you just have to get it done, and that's what we did tonight," Hobson said.