GENOA – With a thundering spike, Avery O’Brien slammed the DeKalb volleyball team to victory against the Genoa-Kingston Cogs in the final point of the match.
“It felt good,” O’Brien said. “I think it went pretty good. We started kind of slow. It was our first game, and we’re not used to playing with each other. I think it picked up a lot once we started talking and got going.”
The Barbs beat the Cogs, 25-20, 17-25, 25-20, on the opening night for both teams.
The Barbs (1-0) finally put together a complete effort in the final game. They jumped out to a 12-4 lead behind O’Brien and Kallie Siebrasse. O’Brien and Siebrasse finally got their service to fall inbounds, allowing the Barbs offense to slam the Cogs defense.
“It’s kind of cool seeing all the tools we have,” DeKalb coach Jaime DiMaggio-Hoscheit said. “Skill-wise we’re stacked. We’ve got the players. It was a good first game to see what we’ve got and what we need to work on going forward.”
The Cogs (0-1) hung around all match, and the final set was no exception. After going down big, the Cogs rallied off five straight points as part of an 8-3 run to get back into the game.
“That’s a tough thing to do,” Cogs coach Keith Foster said. “They fought back, and they never rolled over. I just have to give them a lot of respect for their fight.”
Lily McPherson slammed some big shots down for the Cogs as they clawed their way back into the game, but the Barbs came back firing.
“I think we really played to our potential,” McPherson said. “We faced DeKalb with an open mind. When you take the big school versus the small school into account, I think we played really well.”
Siebrasse and Julia O’Brien, Avery’s younger sister, rained shots down on the Cogs to keep the lead from slipping away.
Julia O’Brien nailed three kills late in the final game to keep the Cogs at Bay. Siebrasse hit the monster shot of the third set, causing a Cog defender to duck away before getting hit by the ball.
By the numbers: Avery O’Brien had 10 kills and Siebrasse added seven kills for the Barbs.
Beyond the stats: The Barbs struggled with their service all match. Aside from a six-point rally with Isabella Finch serving in Game 1, DeKalb managed only 12 points off their service in the first two games.
They said it: “They were going back there trying to get aces, not knowing their own strength,” DiMaggio-Hoscheit said. [They weren’t] able to dim emotions, nerves, competiveness. We made some adjustments, and that took a little bit off of it.”
Up next: The Barbs play at the Blue and Gold Invite at Wheaton North on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. The Cogs play Thursday at Woodstock at 6 p.m.