It was one spike, but it left an indelible memory.
Sure, La Habra's Keao Burdine showed off her all-around skills throughout this season, leading the Highlanders to their second Southern Section title in three years and their first state final appearance since 1991.
And the USC-bound senior may be most remembered for her 33 kills and 23 digs in a thrilling, five-game victory over Lakewood St. Joseph in the Division II-A final, highlighting accomplishments that helped her earn The Times' Orange County player of the year honors this season.
But one early-season smash gave everyone a taste of what was to come.
"We were playing Capistrano Valley for the second time in four days," La Habra Coach Troy Abbey said. "And Keao goes up and hits [up the] line real hard. One kid caught it in the face and I think she broke her tooth.
"I couldn't believe it. I had never seen that and, at the time, I felt terrible."
Capistrano Valley Coach John Gipe also remembered it well.
"It was one of the best hits I've ever seen," Gipe said. "Our setter, Andrea Delsigne, took a face dig, but she hung in there. It chipped her tooth.
"After we checked to make sure she was all right, I started busting up. But [Delsigne] learned how to tough it out and she played through it."
Burdine's teammates know all about the power of her spikes. They spent plenty of time receiving those shots during practice, from Burdine and assistant coach Missy Staley. Staley, formerly Missy Clements, is a former La Habra standout who went on to be the all-time kill leader at Cal State Northridge.
But Burdine's contributions went beyond her offensive fireworks. She was one of the team's better blockers and was also a top-flight passer. When she was in the back row, Abbey positioned her to receive many of the opponents' spike attempts.
"She came into this season a much more mature and better player," Abbey said of his four-year starter. "We appointed her captain, and although she leads more by example on the court, I think by doing that it taught her to be a leader."
The Highlanders never needed Burdine's leadership more than in the big matches.
"Before the Division II-A final, I told Keao that I hadn't really seen that 30-, 40-kill night out of her," Abbey said. "But I knew she would bring it out when we needed it most. That night, we needed it and she pulled it out."
That night, La Habra lost the first two games before rallying to win the final three, including 17-15 in the fifth game.
"She carried us a little bit," Abbey said. "She took us on her shoulders and rose to the challenge."