CRYSTAL LAKE – Woodstock North volleyball coach Eric Schulze saw how dangerous Crystal Lake Central can be when the teams met for the first time in the Class 3A Crystal Lake South Sectional semifinals Monday.
"They showed why they've done what they've done this season and why they're one of the favorites in 3A," Schulze said. "They just really don't have a weakness. Every rotation, they've got somebody that can get after you."
The No. 5-seeded Thunder stuck with the top-seeded Tigers at the start of the first set, but Central used a couple of big service runs to take control of the match and roll to a 25-15, 25-9 win.
Central (35-3) will play No. 1-seeded Belvidere North (35-3) in the championship match at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the winner advancing to the LaSalle-Peru Supersectional.
Central finished with six aces. Maddy McCormick (seven kills, six digs) had five of them, including four in the first set. North led, 9-5, in the first, but Central responded with a 13-2 run.
McCormick had a run of 11 straight service points.
"I thought we served tough and aggressive. They just really went after it," Central coach Lisa Brunstrum said. "We made too many errors in the first set, which was the adrenaline. Once they calmed down, I thought they ran it."
North (20-18) was never able to get its serve receive on track as the Tigers piled up points. Brooke Amann, who has led the area in kills in each of the past two seasons, finished with four kills, tied with sophomore Alyssa Wickersheim for the team lead.
Olivia Anderson had a match-high eight kills for Central. The senior provided a big burst of energy for the Tigers with five kills in the first set.
"She really came alive for us," Brunstrum said. "She gets so excited and brings so much energy. Everybody started swinging a little bit harder and higher, and kind of feeding off that energy."
Anderson missed her entire sophomore season with a torn ACL. She missed parts of last year with a broken finger and knee injury before returning in a season-ending loss to Prairie Ridge in a sectional final.
"We got on that run, and we just kept going," Anderson said. "I really wanted the ball. I really wanted to terminate and put the ball away. Without [Karina Simatos'] great passes and without [Grace Levin's] great sets, I wouldn't be able to do that."
Camryn Hausler had six blocks, two kills and nine assists for the Tigers, Madeline Timmerman had three kills and three blocks, and Madde Blake posted three kills and nine digs.
Amann, who will play next year at South Dakota State, ended her high school varsity career with more than 1,350 kills. North won the school's first regional title last season and won its second straight this year.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without all of the support from this program," Amann said. "I'm so thankful for my coaches and my teammates and how far they pushed me every single day.
"A lot of hard work has gone into it. It's just the beginning, and it's going to be a bright future for them."
STAR OF THE MATCH
Crystal Lake Central, jr., OH
McCormick had seven kills, five aces and six digs to lead the Tigers past Woodstock North and into Wednesday’s sectional final.
8: Olivia Anderson had eight kills and one block to lead the Tigers’ attack.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Woodstock senior Brooke Amann posted four kills and finished her high school varsity career with more than 1,350 kills.