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Geneva girls volleyball making it look easy
By John Lemon | Daily Herald Staff

Geneva's Alexa Sommer blocks a shot by Glenbard South's Bridget Anderson during the Vikings' win Tuesday. Also blocking at the net is Geneva's Maddy Kolquist.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Geneva's Shannon O'Neal hits past Glenbard South's Bridget Anderson during the Vikings' 25-14, 25-6 win Tuesday.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Glenbard South's Leah Tacchi can't block a shot by Geneva's Kelsey Augustine Tuesday.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

Geneva's Lauren Wicinski comes over the net to knock away a set by Glenbard South's Leah Tacchi Tuesday.

 

John Starks | Staff Photographer

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Published: 9/9/2009 12:01 AM

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It's going to take more than one bad break to keep the Geneva girls volleyball team down.

This summer, the Vikings lost last year's setter Megan Odenthal to a torn ACL. Replacing the talented senior and her 863 assists last season was no easy task.

Through seven games, juniors Brooke Morphis and Sarah Duever are doing their best to off-set Odenthal's loss for the defending Western Sun Conference champions. Geneva is 6-1 with the only loss to defending Class 3A state champ Joliet Catholic.

The Vikings' latest win came 25-14, 25-6 over Glenbard South Tuesday night in the conference opener for both teams.

Morphis set the first game and had 17 assists, and Duever came on in Game 2 and finished with 7 assists.

"They are both stepping up," Geneva coach KC Johnsen said. "They aren't freaking out or anything, they both took the challenge and are doing a real good job. I think the transition is going pretty smooth. Megan is a big-time setter so that is a tough spot to try to come in and fill. But I think everyone else is picking it up too. We're not asking those guys to be Megan. We're saying get as close as you can and everyone else will fill in the gap."

That's not to say there hasn't been butterflies.

"When I found out (about Odenthal's injury) I remember shaking," Morphis said. "As the summer went on I got more comfortable. I am trying to fill Megan's footsteps as best I can."

The setter job at Geneva is a good place to be this year, with accurate passes from the back row including libero Grace Burns, then the powerful attack led by Northern Illinois-bound Lauren Wicinski and Kelsey Augustine, headed to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

"Grace's passes are almost always perfect and then their hits, I just have to put it up in the air," Morphis said.

Augustine was the favorite target Tuesday with 11 kills, followed by Wicinski's 10 and five each by Katie and Alexa Sommmer. Katie Sommer added 4 blocks and Wicinski 3.

Glenbard South (3-4, 0-1) started the match missing its first two serves, and not much got better the rest of the night. Augustine, Wicinski and Katie Sommer took turns putting away kills early in the first game, which the Vikings never trailed and were tied just once at 1-1.

"We got a little run and got some momentum and started playing with a lot of confidence," Johnsen said. "We made it look a little easier than it really is. We expect it will be a little tougher when we go back there."

Augustine wasted no time putting Geneva in control of Game 2, serving the first seven points. Wicinski took advantage of a pair of overpasses from the Raiders, Shannon O'Neal added a tip kill and Augustine an ace as part of a 7-0 opening run.

Nevena Markovic's kill stopped that spurt, but the Vikings got on another roll when O'Neal stepped up and served seven more points for a commanding 14-1 advantage. Augustine ended the match with kills on the final two points.

The Raiders start two freshmen and a sophomore, not that youth was any consolation to Glenbard South coach Sherry Hudson.

"We really didn't come out with a lot of heart and determination which is disappointing," Hudson said. "I know we are a young team and I'm not using that as an excuse. We have fighters and competitors and I have no explanation for how we came out and played."