With the match on the line, Jacobs knows the volleyball has to be set to senior standout Alyssa Ehrhardt.
Ehrhardt, a Toledo recruit, didn't disappoint.
Ehrhardt's 19 kills, which included 7 in the crucial third game, keyed Jacobs' hard-fought 27-25, 17-25, 26-24 win over Huntley in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division action in Algonquin Thursday night.
"We have a lot of good hitters on this team, but with the match on the line we want to set Alyssa as much as possible," said Jacobs senior Maris Smith. "It was a nerve-racking win, but we knew it would be a tough match. Huntley is a very good team."
Huntley (4-7, 1-3) was on the doorstep of winning the match in the third game when Hailey Vitacco slammed a kill to give the Red Raiders a 24-23 lead. But Ehrhardt wasn't about to let the Golden Eagles lose.
The senior outside hitter buried 3 kills to give Jacobs (13-3, 3-0) the game and match.
"We have had a lot of three-game matches this year and we know how to handle the pressure in a third game," said Ehrhardt. "We were a little flat after the huge win against Cary Tuesday. It was frustrating to lose the second game. We had a little letdown. But we played well enough to win. We know every match in this conference will be tough."
Along with 19 kills, Ehrhardt also had 6 blocks and 6 aces. Smith added 8 kills while Taylor Lauder contributed 15 set assists for the winners.
"We were a little flat after the big win against Cary-Grove on Tuesday," said Jacobs coach Lisa Dwyer. "We didn't disrespect Huntley but we weren't as sharp as we needed to be. Huntley is a very tough team and they played tough. Alyssa was huge when we needed her. She played well."
Erin Lyman paced the Red Raiders with 11 kills while Rachel Kisten and Vitacco contributed 9 kills apiece. Rachel Shores had 14 digs and Kelsey DeWulf collected 31 assists for the Red Raiders.
"We had some crucial unforced errors down the stretch of the third game and that hurt us," said Huntley coach Karen Liss. "We played with great effort and we played with a lot of confidence. Our defense was scrappy and we came back and played well in the second game after losing the first game."