Hampshire’s serving solid in win over Genoa-Kingston
All Hampshire coach Karen Whitehouse has wanted all season is a little consistency from her team. On Monday night she got it and the result was a 25-15, 25-19 win over Genoa-Kingston in the first round of the Sycamore Class 3A Regional.
The fourth-seeded Whip-Purs (11-25) committed just two passing errors the entire match and connected on eight aces. Hampshire advances to take on top-seeded Crystal Lake Central tonight at 6:30.
“That is probably the most consistent we have played all year,” said Whitehouse. And that’s really the key for us. When we are not making mistakes we start playing with a lot more confidence. Our serve-receive was on tonight and that allowed us to get into our offense. We did a good job of keeping the ball on their side.”
The confidence also carried over for the Whip-Purs at the serving line. Senior Kelly Meathe led the way with four aces. Juliana Gass added two, while Dakota Walther and Jennifer Dumoulin had one each.
“It’s all about staying focused,” said Meathe. “We didn’t want our seson to end. We really wanted this. So you focus hard on every serve.”
The Whip-Purs trailed by narrow margins in both games, but turned it around both times midway through. A 6-0 run behind the serving of Gass turned a 9-7 deficit into a 13-9 lead in game one. An ace by Gass gave the Whip-Purs the lead at 10-9. Walther later had an ace that helped the Whip-Purs extend their lead to 17-12. Hampshire closed out the game scoring five straight points, including a pair of aces from Meathe.
The Whip-Purs trailed again 9-7 in game two, but in identical fashion to game one turned it around with a 6-0 run to take a 13-9 lead. This time it was Meathe at the serving line. Her third ace of the match gave the Whips the lead for good 10-9.
“We served very aggressive,” said Whitehouse. “When you are getting those big serves in that wears the other team down. We were able to take them out of their offensive comfort zone.”
The Whip-Purs spread the ball around with six different players registering kills. Jennifer and Michelle Dumoulin led the way with five kills each. Arriana Rominski added three kills. Setter Brittney Laffin finished with nine assists.
The Whip-Purs now get ready for a Crystal Lake Central team they lost to twice in Fox Valley Conference play during the regular season.
“We know what we are up against,” said Whitehouse. “They have a lot of weapons. The key will be to serve as aggressively as we did tonight and play good defense. If we can do that maybe we can get them out of their offense and from there anything can happen.”
Genoa-Kingston finishes the season at 14-19. The Cogs were without three starters because of off-court disciplinary reasons. Three underclassmen were called up to fill the roster.
“When you have that much change in a short period of time there are bound to be mistakes, especially in communication,” said G-K coach Keith Foster. “We did the best we could under the circumstances, but the mistakes were really our demise.”