Girls volleyball: Holz, Palatine dump Lake Zurich in 2
Haley Holz has been working for two and half years on her jump serve.
"I like the aggressiveness and how you can control pretty much everything in it," said the Palatine 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter.
The New York University recruit was sure in control at the service line on Tuesday night when Lake Zurich visited for a nonconference match.
She was 16-of-16 serving with half going for aces as Palatine posted a 25-19, 25-14 triumph and went above .500 for the third time this season at 6-5.
Holz' serves helped turn each set into the Pirates' favor.
The hosts trailed 8-5 in the first one when Holz fired off eight straight service points, including 4 aces for a commanding 13-8 lead that her team would never relinquish.
In Set 2, Holz came to the line with the score tied at 4-4.
Her back-to-back aces made it 6-4 after the Pirates had trailed 3-1.
Holz made her presence felt again to secure the victory for the Pirates when she served the final 3 points of the match, including her seventh and eighth aces.
"She is amazing," said Lake Zurich coach Rachel Wiatrowski, whose team is in a span of eight matches in five days, all on the road. "She served very very tough. She really had a nice jump serve and we didn't pass well."
Holz, who plans to study film and business on the Manhattan campus in New York City, tosses the ball nearly 20 feet before beginning her leap as it comes down.
"Without a doubt, Haley's serving is a game changer," said Palatine coach Dan Gavin. "She got some great results tonight. I'm proud of her. More than anything, I was happy to see her having fun on the court.
"She has worked very hard on her toss consistency and just repeating her motion. So she has the kinesthetics down to it. If the toss is not perfect, she is able to kind of control what her body is doing and make adjustments at mid serve. And that's a huge piece of being a good jump server."
A huge piece of the Pirates' attack on Tuesday was 6-3 junior outside hitter Emily Campe, who put down a match-high 10 kills.
Junior middle blocker Sarah Elischer added 4 as they took their cues from sophomore setter Allison Drake, who handed out 19 assists.
Leading the back row were Jillian Smith (8 digs), Campe (6) and Holz (6), who also put down a pair of kills and was 10-of-10 serve receiving.
"This is how we should play," said Holz, who served 94 aces as a junior. "We've gotten a lot better in practice. Hopefully we'll just keep it going up from here. We've still got a ways to go with chemistry and working on other things. But we should be good."
Lake Zurich (5-7), which travels to Skokie today for a nonconference match with Niles North, was led on attack by Claudia Kieda's 5 kills while setter Kelly Bush handed out 10 assists.
The Pirates swing back into action on Thursday with a trip to Hoffman Estates.
"This was a little bit more of what we're looking for," Gavin said. "We had a little better sense of purpose, a better commitment to what we're doing and a greater willingness to sustain our efforts.
"And we had a little more of that grit that we've talked about. When Lake Zurich pushed on us a little, we pushed back and responded and we haven't always done that this season so that was nice to see."