SYCAMORE – The DeKalb volleyball team spoiled Sycamore’s senior night, sweeping the match in straight sets, 25-17, 25-14, on Tuesday.
The Barbs (10-22, 2-6 Northern Illinois Big 12) came out firing in both sets. They took advantage of their size, dominating the front of the net. Bella Finch led the team with 3½ blocks. She also contributed 20 assists and two aces.
“It meant a lot because they took one off of us on our home floor,” Finch said. “We came in with a lot more confidence. We have a good shot at regionals.”
DeKalb is seeded fifth in its regional. Coach Jamie DiMaggio-Hoscheit believes that her team is peaking at the right time.
“We’re a young team, and it took awhile for us to get the ball rolling,” DiMaggio-Hoscheit said. “What’s cool is that this team has never stopped. We knew that in the beginning it was going to take awhile, but we haven’t stopped working hard. We haven’t stopped pushing them in the gym. We’re excited to keep going and finish the season as strong as possible.”
DeKalb’s young talent showed flashes again Tuesday. Freshman Julia O’Brien led the team in kills with eight. Sophomore Kallie Siebrasse was right behind her with seven kills. DiMaggio-Hoscheit said that their futures are bright, and they should be a one-two punch for the next few seasons.
“[Siebrasse] and [O’Brien] are going to be deadly in our future,” DiMaggio-Hoscheit said. “Our offense looked better because we were putting the ball up and in a playable situation so that our setter could keep our players in a good position to score.”
O’Brien said that she has grown both physically and mentally over the course of the season.
“We’ve just been practicing a lot and working on our skills more in-depth than we have been,” O’Brien said. “I think I’ve gotten stronger mentally.”
For Sycamore (16-19, 3-6 Northern Illinois Big 12), the game was a setback for a team that has a lot of talented pieces.
Coach Jennifer Charles said that the focus has to get better.
It’s not so much the physical game that we need to clean up,” she said. “It’s the mental game that we need to clean up right now. We just need to do a better job of executing things that we do on a daily basis. We can’t let outside things play into why we’re not focused or successful on the floor.”
Sycamore senior Faith Reynolds agreed with her coach when it came to the team’s lack of focus.
“I definitely think that senior night had an impact when it shouldn’t have,” Reynolds said. “At the end of the day, we just weren’t in the right mindset.”
By the numbers: DeKalb may have convincingly won both sets, but it could stand to improve upon its serving. The Barbs only had 83.7 percent of their serves end up in play.
They said it: “A regional championship would make this much better,” Sycamore senior Amanda Swedberg said. “This game obviously meant something to us because it is conference, but a regional title would mean a lot more.”
Up next: Sycamore will not play again until regionals. DeKalb will travel to Morris for a 6 p.m. game Thursday.