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updated: 10/2/2012 10:23 PM

Dahlstrom serves up winning effort for Grayslake Central

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  • Grayslake Central's Gabi Casper, left, and Lexi Beckman try to block the shot of Woodstock's Amber Roberts on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.

      Grayslake Central's Gabi Casper, left, and Lexi Beckman try to block the shot of Woodstock's Amber Roberts on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's girls volleyball team dressed in pink for its contest against Woodstock to bring attention to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.

      Grayslake Central's girls volleyball team dressed in pink for its contest against Woodstock to bring attention to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Allie Daul, left, and Lexi Beckman try to block the shot of Woodstock's Megan Pautrat during on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.

      Grayslake Central's Allie Daul, left, and Lexi Beckman try to block the shot of Woodstock's Megan Pautrat during on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake Central's Meghan Brewster serves against Woodstock on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.

      Grayslake Central's Meghan Brewster serves against Woodstock on Tuesday at Grayslake Central.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

We might have to pass the hat to pay for all of this, but it would be worth it.

What a show it would be, getting 6-foot-1 Alex Dahlstrom to travel around the country, showing prospective volleyball players the art of serving the volleyball.

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Of course, most of them won't be as tall as the Grayslake Central junior, but we can overcome that as well.

On a volleyball night designated to making a difference in the fight against cancer, Dahlstrom put on a serving and hitting display rarely seen in these parts.

She greeted visiting Woodstock with 11 straight points, and the Rams (18-8) never looked back in routing the Blue Streaks 25-14, 25-13. Her astounding 21 serving points were obviously the statistic of the match.

"It was impressive," said Central coach Jason Janczak. "Alex had a great night at the line."

Dahlstrom was quick to credit her head coach for her domination at the serving line.

"I was having a rough time serving," Dahlstrom said. "And he told me to visualize the ball going down. Now I serve 10 times better."

Of course this wasn't a one-girl show at Central. But it was close.

Dahlstrom led the team in serving aces with 7 and had 7 kills.

Teammate and fellow junior Gabi Casper also applauded Dahlstrom's big night.

"Alex has improved a lot from last year,'' Casper said.

When this match opened, Dahlstrom went to the line. Her tall frame certainly helped, and with a jump serve added to it, the Blue Streaks were immediately on their heels. It wasn't all aces, as she had help from two Casper kills and one from Anna Basten.

It was 11-0 when Dahlstrom finally served one into the net. Of course, no one repeated that serving streak, and the two FVC teams traded points before Hannah Thomas served for Central. She earned 2 points following 2 hard kills from Dahlstrom.

"We've really improved a lot since the beginning of the season," Casper said. "We really wanted to win tonight. We had a lot of energy."

Dahlstrom opened the second set with a quick ace. The Central lead expanded to 8-3 aided by the serving of Basten. Dahlstrom's final serving effort of the night began with her team leading 15-9. Two more Casper kills and another hit from Basten helped. And then Dahlstrom's aces began to fall.

Even a floater found the floor.

The junior admitted she had never had a serving run like this before. But she has been told she is the school's leader in aces with 52 a year ago.

All this from a basketball player who gave volleyball a chance in the seventh grade.

Now she's a Sky High Volleyball Club player. However, she still heads to the bench following her serving and front row play.

"I still need to work on my passing," she said.

Casper led the Rams with 8 kills. Basten and Lexi Beckman had 3 kills each.

Setter Meghan Brewster was able to set a number of players in this win.

"Meghan had a great game," Janczak said.

In the sixth season marking Grayslake Central's fight against cancer, the Rams wore pink outfits. The visitors from Woodstock wore pink socks. Several shirts were seen stating "Rams bleed green but think pink."

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