Naperville Central's serving game carried the Redhawks against DuPage Valley Conference foe Wheaton Warrenville South.
The Redhawks, behind 9 service aces, picked up a 25-20, 25-19 victory on their home court Tuesday night as the match was also part of the Dig Pink initiative for breast cancer awareness.
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Both teams came out wearing pink uniforms as the match was part of an evening of events, including raffles, silent auctions, bake sales, as well as breast cancer survivors invited to speak before the start of the varsity contest.
"There's so many people that came together for this event, it's literally been months of planning," Naperville Central coach Jeff Danbom said. "I've always appreciated cancer survivors and their message. Their ability to convey to the young ladies that they need to be proactive about their health is paramount because it can affect any of them."
Naperville Central's 9 aces, as well as 8 service errors by Wheaton Warrenville South (11-16, 6-5), made the difference in the match.
"Wheaton Warrenville South has some very good attackers and our goal was to challenge them to pass first and attack the ball second," Danbom said. "Serving is one of those individual elements where the pressure is on. The ref blows the whistle, and you have to put the ball in the correct spot."
Wheaton Warrenville South jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 1 before Phoebe Havenaar connected on her first of 4 kills to give the Redhawks their first point.
Naperville Central (14-13, 8-3) broke an 11-11 tie on an Alex O'Brien kill and never relinquished its lead. A blocking error by Wheaton Warrenville South's Kara Watts and Erin Staunton gave the Redhawks the game point.
In Game 2 the Tigers again jumped out to an early lead, this time scoring the first three points on a block by Staunton and two straight aces by Kristin Martin.
But after finishing with 4 reception errors in Game 1, Wheaton Warrenville South had another 4 in Game 2, including one that gave the Redhawks a 17-13 lead.
"We couldn't get into any rhythm, whether it was our serve receive or our serving in general," Wheaton Warrenville South coach Bill Schreier said. "We missed a ton of serves. You can't give up points that easily."
Naperville Central took its biggest lead at 22-16 after a Wheaton Warrenville South attack error.
The Redhawks then settled on a 25-19 victory when Rachel Downs connected on a kill for the match point.