One thing leads to another: Douglas takes charge, guides Blue Devils to WB6 victory


Quincy High School volleyball coach Kate Brown, right, addresses her team during Thursday night's match against Geneseo at the QHS gym. | Steve Eighinger photo

QUINCY — Quincy High School volleyball coach Kate Brown had just watched her team get hit with a haymaker at the onset of Thursday’s Western Big 6 Conference match against Geneseo.

“I wondered what was going on,” Brown admitted.

With her club down 10-0, Brown turned to Ayanna Douglas and informed the junior hitter, “You’ve got to pull this together.”

And Douglas did just that.

The Douglas-led Blue Devils not only rebounded to win the opening set, but polished off Geneseo — in much easier fashion -— in the second set to collect a 25-22, 25-18 victory.

“Ayanna was definitely the star of the night for us,” Brown said.

Douglas led Quincy with seven kills and made her presence felt on both the front and back lines.

“When we saw Geneseo’s record, I think we got a little overconfident,” Douglas said. “But I think we learned from that mistake. We’re still growing as a team, and we’ll get where we want to be. We hold each other accountable.”

Quincy, coming off a runner-up finish to Quincy Notre Dame in Saturday’s Early Bird Tournament at QHS, raised its record to 6-2. Geneseo fell to 1-7. The match was the WB6 opener for both schools.

The Blue Devils used a 9-1 run midway through the opening set to gain control of the momentum and tie Geneseo at 15. Moments later, the serving of Avary Hlubek triggered a Quincy pullaway that saw the Blue Devils go on a 7-1 outburst and assume a 23-18 advantage they never relinquished.

“We knew we just had to fight back,” Douglas said.

In the second set, Quincy controlled the flow throughout. The serving of Douglas set the tone for a 7-0 run that gave the Blue Devils a 16-6 spread they never came close to relinquishing.

“We kind of did the same thing against Geneseo last season,” Brown said. “Last year, we lost the first game and then came back to win the next two.”

Elise Damon paced Quincy with 17 service points and now shows 58 through the Blue Devils’ first eight tests. Abby Bunch was credited with five digs, while Kaley Summers (5), Hlubek (4) and Lydia Peters (4) combined for 13 additional kills behind Douglas. Summers has 30 kills for the season, Peters 27.

“I think we’re at about 75 percent of where I think we can be,” Brown said. “There are still some little things we need to tweak, but the girls are growing in their confidence.”

Quincy is idle until Tuesday when it travels to Sterling (4-3) for its second conference match.

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