It only made sense for Grayslake Central senior Teresa Curtis to serve the ball out of bounds against rival North in set two of Thursday night's game.
Otherwise, she might have been serving all night long.
Curtis served 10 straight points and got plenty of help from the power hitting of Alex Dahlstrom (11 kills). Set two showed how good coach Jason Janczak's team could really be as Central (19-7) handled the Knights 25-21, 25-9.
"We just had a lot of energy tonight,'' Curtis said. "First the crowd was great and after a couple of more serves, I started bringing it more."
After the match, the Rams showed the community its commitment to the battle against breast cancer.
Curtis is the team's libero. In addition to her 5 serving aces, she collected 17 digs.
"I love diving for every ball,'' Curtis said.
The Rams had been through a tough week and coach Janczak agreed this was the best his club has looked in recent outings.
"We had been struggling,'' Janczak said. "We played a complete match tonight. It was an emotional night because this will be the last time my seniors will play against North."
Set one was clearly the more competitive. Central opened up a quick 9-3 lead in set one. However, on a Maggie Fish kill, the Central lead had been cut to 21-18.
"It's still mental toughness for us,'' said North coach Nikki Kirchway. "Every time we play Central there is added pressure. Plus we had this great cause tonight. It's just hard."
The Knights (10-17) has gone 10-9 since their 0-8 start.
North did get some hard hitting from senior Summer Camper. She led North's attack with 5 kills.
"She's getting better,'' Kirchway said.
Naturally, a Dahlstrom kill ended the first set.
Another Central senior, Lexi Beckman, helped the Rams from the middle. She had 5 blocks and 3 kills. She manages to succeed at the net despite standing just 5-foot-9.
"I'm kind of a short middle,'' Beckman said. "But I get to block everything. This was the best we've played in a long time. We had been playing as individuals."
Another senior, Hannah Thomas, agreed, suggesting the Rams had lost their way before this match. Thomas is a defensive specialist.
"We haven't been playing as a team,'' Thomas said. "But we did well as a team tonight."
Thomas added 11 digs.
"I love playing defense,'' Thomas said.
After Thomas finished her serving prowess against North, the Central lead was 12-2 in set two. It did not get better for the guests. Dahlstrom fired off a pair of aces and got a block kill from Allie Daul as the Rams lead jumped to 18-5. Thomas kept the pressure on with her serving. She had help at the net from Taylor O'Neil and setter Hayley Peterson (24 assists) as the lead ballooned to 23-7.