By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
Geneva setters Kylee Corlew and Allie Penna had a specific job in the Eagles’ 25-12, 25-19, 25-7 victory over visiting Lakeside on Tuesday.
“The focus tonight was to play clean and be aggressive,” Geneva coach Annah Haeseler said.
The victory set up a confrontation with Riverside on Thursday with a share of the Premier Athletic Conference title on the line for the Eagles (14-4, 7-2). Festivities begin at 6 p.m. in Community Fieldhouse.
“We were just trying to keep our game going,” Haeseler said. “We’re on a roll in the PAC and we’re shooting for Thursday, trying to keep things going.”
Corlew and Penna kept the offense running smooth.
“I tell them to focus on bit-bit-bam,” Haeseler said. “Keep everything quick. Once you start to slow down, it hurts your game. We had to keep our focus and keep playing clean.”
Corlew was 37 of 38 with 15 aces and Penna had seven aces on 23-of-23 setting.
“I thought they played well,” Haeseler said. “Our passes were good and they chose the quick option often enough. The setters set the pace.”
It was those speedy options that hurt the Dragons (1-17, 0-10) most.
“They have a very quick offense,” Lakeside coach Alyssa Hill said. “They were able to get the sets up and put it where they wanted. (Our) defense wasn’t able to move well today.
“They’re a quick team and they can go at you from any angle.”
The Dragons, who were playing without starter Alissa Patterson, who is nursing an overextended right knee, led just twice in the match. They took a 2-0 advantage to open the first game on kills from Sharisse Hunt and Aaliyah Hunt. Lakeside’s only other lead was 2-1 in the third game.
“It’s hard because I know we can win if we just play together,” Hill said. “We’re just as competitive as our competition (all season). We just need some confidence. Once we get some wins and gain some confidence, we’ll be OK.”
After getting down, 2-0, to start, Geneva rattled off six straight points behind A kill from Emily Ball, an ace block from Sarah Juncker, two kills from Chelsea Scafuro and another from Kirstie Otto.
In the second game, the Eagles scored the first four points and never trailed.
Six miscues had the Dragons down, 9-2, in the third game.
“We’d get a good pass and the set wasn’t there or we’d get a good set and we’d hit the ball into the net,” Hill said. “We made some fundamental mistakes we can fix when we get back in the gym.”
Scafuro had eight kills on 16-of-18 spiking and Ball added seven kills on 12-of-14 spiking.
Aaliyah Hunt had four kills on 6-of-9 spiking and Lexi David was 37 of 38 setting for the Dragons.
“Lexi did and excellent job tonight,” Hill said. “She never stopped talking and trying to help us get better. Sharisse Hunt was very aggressive. I’m proud of the upper classmen.”
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.