Coal City’s Britta Spelde keeps it simple.
When she steps up to the service line, the senior doesn’t have any theatrics. Spelde stands at the line and places the ball, aims it, puts some zip on it, lofts it, whatever the defense is giving her. Any and all.
A starter on the Coalers basketball team as well, Spelde credits her basketball background.
“I think of it like a free throw,” Spelde said with a smile. “I do the same thing every single time. Something in my head tells me it will be a good serve (when I'm in rhythm).”
Spelde and the Coalers put their service game on display Thursday against visiting Reed-Custer, winning 25-8, 25-21 in an Interstate 8 crossover.
With Coal City (8-4) trailing 4-2 in the first set, Spelde picked her spot at the far corner of the service line and went to work. Her 9-0 service run picked the Comets defense apart, four aces highlighting the run.
Balls at a defender’s feet, at their head, gently grazing the net, the outside’s service game was on.
“After I got the first three or four, I knew I could take some risks,” Spelde said. “I didn’t have to play it safe so I could hit harder now.”
Coalers setter Kassie Aldridge proceeded to one-up Spelde with her own run at the line. The senior had no aces but reeled off an 11-0 service run late in the second set to put Coal City up 24-7.
“I’m just trying to keep the ball in play,” Aldridge said. “That’s the biggest thing. You get into a rhythm, and it keeps going.”
Aldridge finished with 15 assists, Emily Halliday nine kills, and Nicole Borgetti four kills and two blocks to lead the Coalers.
Reed-Custer (0-12) came to life late in the second set trailing 23-12. On the brink of a knockout, the Comets rattled off their own service run, an 8-0 spurt from Kenna Wilkey bringing the team within three points at 23-20.
Haillday and Spelde had a kill apiece to close the match.
“It seems our first game we always play terrible no matter what,” Reed-Custer coach Brittany Janz said. “We meshed better in the second set and kept the ball inbounds.”
Megan Lord and Vanessa VanDuyne had three kills apiece for Reed-Custer.