RICHMOND – Woodstock volleyball coach Jill Rokosik has been impressed this season by senior outside hitter Hanna Berry's ability to take over a match at any point.
That was on full display during Berry's strong finishing act in the first set against Richmond-Burton on Monday.
Berry came through with six of her match-leading 10 kills in the first set to help Woodstock earn a 25-20, 25-13 win against the Rockets in the teams' Kishwaukee River Conference match.
"She's not afraid to take control," Rokosik said. "I think she's really come into herself this year. She's confident in her abilities and in her teammates. And she's confident in that go-to role more than I've seen from her in the past. She's fun to watch."
The Blue Streaks (14-1, 3-0 KRC) suffered their first loss of the season over the weekend at the West Chicago Tournament, a 15-25, 25-16, 25-21 loss to St. Viator. Berry called the loss "frustrating" but was proud of how her teammates responded.
"I was pretty excited for tonight," Berry said. "[Richmond-Burton] has given us a little bit of a fight in the last couple of years. Every time we come here, there's just a little more hype to beat them."
After the score was tied at 17, the Streaks ended the first set on an 8-3 run out of a timeout. Berry put away the first two points, added her fifth and sixth kills and had an ace during the run.
Ella Wicker had two aces late in the set and finished with a match-high four.
Woodstock served 10 aces, with two apiece from Berry and Anna Almeida.
"We just wanted to win," Berry said. "We just wanted to own it. We knew we were not playing as well as we should have. We expected a score more like the second [set]. ... That timeout just gave us a little extra boost."
Woodstock senior Sophie Wicker had 22 assists, Emma Brand added six kills, and Ella Wicker had 12 digs. Lauryn Hahn had five kills.
The Rockets (3-9, 1-2) were led by Jordyn Duncan and Sammy Duncan with four kills each. Jesse Klicker had nine assists, Bella Cecchi had eight digs, and Maggie Boro had two kills.
Rockets coach Kaycee Kaywood has seen glimpses of her team's potential, but it has come and gone, she said.
"We are struggling a little bit to find that mental toughness to stick through those points," Kaywood said. "We keep digging ourselves little holes. We need to start playing consistent instead of playing up, and then playing relaxed.
"We have so much potential. We're just in this slump right now. We're starting off slow."
The Streaks will look to continue their hot start against rival Woodstock North on Wednesday.
"I'm excited. It should be a lot of fun," Sophie Wicker said. "There's a lot riding on it because they're our crosstown rivals. But if we play how we know how to play, we should be OK."
STAR OF THE MATCH
Woodstock, sr., OH
Berry had a match-high 10 kills and two aces.
10: Aces for Woodstock on Monday
AND ANOTHER THING ...
The Blue Streaks suffered their first loss of the season over the weekend, a three-set loss to St. Viator. "I think we shook it off," Berry said. "It's a little frustrating to lose that first one, but we bounce back pretty easily."