Eight days ago, the Buffalo Grove girls volleyball team lost on its home floor to Fremd in three sets.
But the Bison made themselves right at home playing the Vikings in Tuesday's Class AA Hersey regional semifinal at the Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.
The No. 10 Bison (17-18) pulled off a 25-18, 25-20 upset over No. 5 Fremd (27-8) to advance to Thursday's championship against No. 2 Hersey (31-5) at 6 p.m.
"It was by far our best match of the season," said Bison senior middle blocker Bailey North, who had 8 kills and 2 blocks. "Our digging, blocking, serve receiving, hitting, setting ... every part of the game was there for us and it showed on the scoreboard."
The Bison showed they meant business all night, whether it was clutch hitting by Sarah Rivera, Alaina Murphy, Alyssa Mills and Mary Zawlocki or key passing from Celine Murphy and Lea Masciopinto.
And Marie Georgoulis, as usual, was there to keep the offense running like clockwork with her setting expertise.
Also, first-year coach Matt Priban showed the Bison a little film from that previous match against Fremd.
"It definitely helped playing them a week earlier so we could watch the tape," North added. "We knew where their defense left some open spots and that's what we looked for. At this point, it's do or die. You lose and you go home, and that definitely fueled our fire."
Rivera (9 kills) proved to be a real spark last in Set 1.
Fremd closed to within 22-21 on a kill by Claire Brady before Rivera put down three consecutive kills, the final one off a tip near the back row which gave Bison the win.
BG kept its energy high in Set 2 and took control midway through.
A kill by sophomore Lane Hindenburg brought Fremd to within 9-8 when Masciopinto served 3 straight points (including her own kill, a kill by North and an ace) for a 4-point cushion.
A back-to-back kill and block by Zawlocki made it 16-11 and the lead grew to 19-13 when Zawlocki registered another kill.
Fremd never got closer than 4 points before a block by Georgoulis gave the Bison the match.
"I thought Buffalo's Grove's defense did a fantastic job," said Fremd coach Curt Pinley. "Their defense was phenomenal. There were balls that would have gone down last week when we played them and they did not this match. They turned their game on this time and we didn't always answer."
Brady led the Vikes' attack with 8 kills while Hindenburg had 6. Setter Marilyn Lortz handed out 21 assists and libero Nina Scott collected 6 digs.
"This has been a great group of girls to coach and I've enjoyed it tremendously," Pinley added. "They have great team camaraderie. I can't say enough about them. I will miss not going to practice (today)."
The Bison will practice today for a match against the Mid-Suburban League champs on Thursday.
Priban hopes to see the same kind of play from his Bison that he saw Tuesday.
"Everyone was on their game and we didn't make a lot of mistakes," he said."Our passing was really sharp. Celine (Murphy) stepped up in the back row and Lea (Masciopinto) did a nice job getting passes where they needed to be.
"All parts of our game were one. It was awesome, especially to come back after losing to them last week."