ALGONQUIN – After a dominating two-game victory over Bartlett on Tuesday, the Jacobs girls volleyball team was looking to keep the momentum going Thursday against DeKalb in another nonconference match.
Going up 6-1 to start Game 1 of the contest, it looked promising for the Golden Eagles. However, that would be the largest lead they sustained in either game, slowly seizing to the defensive beast that was DeKalb.
DeKalb defeated Jacobs, 26-24, 25-17, but it wasn’t without a fight, as the Eagles battled back from a 22-15 deficit in Game 1. The second game, however, wasn’t much of a contest as DeKalb led most of the way. Whenever Jacobs (1-1) started inching its way back, DeKalb answered and didn’t let the Eagles get over the hump. Coach Lisa Dwyer took notice and knows exactly what to work on moving forward.
“Our blocking, especially stopping those hot hitters from the opposite side – hitters definitely killed us in this match, so we have to make sure that we’re really working on the timing of our blocks so that we can stop [future opponents’] offense and slow them down,” Dwyer said.
This became evident, particularly in Game 2, as players such as Kate Hickey and Kyla Schafer were regularly having their way with the home team. At times it looked as if 6-foot-2 junior captain Bridget Wallenberger was up for the challenge, having five kills of her own, but DeKalb was unrelenting.
Kassie Kasper, a senior captain for Jacobs, recognized her team’s faults, but was quick to point toward a solution.
“We have to be consistent and just work on all aspects of our game and make sure that all the different aspects are on at the same time," Kasper said." We just need to get a better flow and just get into a rhythm. I think at certain points we broke down and got stuck in a couple rotations, but we definitely can take a lot away from this game, and just work really hard at practice, come back and get ready for our conference games.”
It is not as if Jacobs looked lost. The Eagles were right in the thick of it for parts of the match. Ester Onate and Kyla Fitzsimmons joined Wallenberger with five assists. Junior Paige Queffelec was just about everywhere, contributing 15 assists to go along with her five digs. Kasper had a team-high eight digs.
They have the weekend to start working on cleaning up their game. Jacobs is set to square off at Prairie Ridge at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.