Prep Volleyball

Blue Devils make adjustments, down Galesburg in three

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Oct. 2, 2019 1:20 am

QUINCY -- Adjustments were the name of the game when the Quincy High School volleyball team and Galesburg squared off in the QHS gym on Tuesday.

The Blue Devils roared out in the first set of the Western Big Six Conference matchup with a 25-13 win, helped in large part by seven blocks in the frame.

The Silver Streaks answered back by changing up the attack, opting for the lighter touch of the tip over the QHS block which helped them earn a 25-23 second-set victory.

The Blue Devils made adjustments of their own in the third set, however, and with two attacking points neutralized there was nothing but Galesburg could do but watch as QHS took the match 25-13, 23-25, 25-14.

"It's a cat-and-mouse game, who can make the last adjustment?" Blue Devil coach Tim Hill said. "Today we did a very good job of listening to the adjustments. They pinched in when we needed to, we started reading a little bit better and they did a great job of picking up what the other team was doing, which was awesome to see, especially getting later in the season."

In the third set QHS (12-5, 6-4 WB6) trailed the Silver Streaks early at 9-7. A kill by Lauren Erke and an ace by Emma Sparrow tied things up at 9, and the Blue Devils used that momentum to finish the set on an 18-5 run.

"It really picked up our energy for the rest of the game and let us keep them down," Sparrow said. "It got us through the rest of the set, that was the momentum that carried us through it."

QHS finished with 13 total blocks, led by Sparrow with six.

"Our pins were setting the block right where they needed to be, we in place all the time and ready," Sparrow said. "That's been a huge thing we've been working on in practice and I think it's very easy just to do it now."

Her biggest and most emphatic block came on the final point of the match.

"That was awesome," Sparrow said with a smile.

This was the first match for the Blue Devils since a win over Jacksonville on Sept. 23, and that time off has done the team good.

"We slowed our blocking and our serve-receive down a lot last week instead of trying to rush through everything," Hill said. "That really showed today, the girls translated that from practice into a game."

Sparrow also finished with six kills, tied for the team lead along with Erke. Alexis Wolf was just behind with five.

Now reenergized, the Blue Devils embark on the final portion of their schedule before the postseason begins. They currently sit atop the second tier in the WB6, with Geneseo, Moline and Sterling all sitting with two losses in conference. Hill sees no reason his girls can't make a run.

"We have been building all season, and I think that will be good for us because we will be overlooked a little bit," he said. "We played some of our worst volleyball in the middle of the season and the girls are starting to get their heads back.

"It's going to show late in the season where we've made adjustments."