Junior Katie Jablonski powered the Kaneland Knights to victory over the Genoa-Kingston Cogs, 25-15, 25-15.
Jablonski led the Knights (12-3) with 12 kills, scoring four straight points for one stretch in the first game.
“In my head, I always say ‘When we have serve, I want to get five points.’ That’s my goal,” Jablonski said. “Even if we don’t always get it, we have to keep pushing. I tell them every point (to) keep pushing. Don’t give up. Let’s get a run, let’s get a gap, let’s finish this game.”
Kaneland head coach Cyndi Violett knows to expect this kind of performance from Jablonski.
“She does good every game. I’ve had her on varsity since her freshman year,” Violett said. “She’s smart. She also plays beach, so she has a lot of beach skills. She’s probably one of my best hitters out there.”
The Cogs (4-5) hung with the Knights for the first game, even leading, 5-1, to start until Jablonski rattled off four straight points in a five-point rally, which put the game out of reach.
In the second game, the teams traded points early, but the Knights would go on two five-point runs to put it away.
“We got beat," Cogs coach Keith Foster said. "Kaneland came in and they beat us. That was the difference. They swung harder, they served tougher, and they hit good spots on the court. They put us on the defense. They didn’t give us a chance to be on offense much."
Cogs senior Alison Kramer thought her team played well in the loss.
“I think we did really good," she said. "We played together as a team. We did fight back, not as much as obviously(we needed) to win, but we did play hard."
Beyond the stats: At the end of the first game, Lauren Steers dove and made a dig that kept the ball in play and led to a point for the Knights that led to them finishing out the game
They said it: “They’re mentally tough. They could be down by four, but they think they’re going to win,” Kaneland coach Cyndi Violett said.