Last night, Windsor 7th volleyball showed why they, as the NTC conference tournament runner-ups, weren’t a #5 seed out of six teams.

Windsor weathered some severe serves from Lovington’s top aces in game one, pulling away late, 21-17, then steamrolling Lovington in game two, 21-5, to earn a spot to tonight’s semi final against top-seeded Cerro Gordo.

Service runs determined much of the scoring in this match on both sides of the net. Hannah Cole led the Trojan servers with a huge run in game two. Megan Powers and Haley Maxwell delivered from the line in game one, while Sarah Curtis finished out both games serving, the second game with seven straight.

Lovington’s best shots came from Madeline Bicknell, who had a six-point run to get Lovington back into game one. But, when Bicknell’s serve was broken, so was the Lovington momentum.

Powers dug Lovington a hole in game one, serving Windsor to a 5-0 lead, catching the redbirds in some bad serve-receive spots. But, Bicknell answered with some sizzling serves. She aced Windsor four times as she caught the Trojans at 5-5, then passed them for a 7-5 lead, forcing a Windsor time out.

Windsor broke the serve out of the time out and Cole served three straight balls that couldn’t be returned to regain the lead 9-7. Jasmine Pierce jazzed Lovington was some good serves of her own and reclaimed the lead for the Redbirds, 11-9. But, a side-out gave Jessica Burgess the serve and Curtis set Haley Maxwell for the kill and it was tied again, 11-11.

Lovington went up 13-11 with some more good serves, but Emily Bryant got Windsor back to 13-13 on her turn serving. The Redbirds went back up 15-13 on yet another ace, but a lift call gave Windsor a window of opportunity.

Maxwell stepped to the line and tied the game at 15-15, then served up two aces in a row to claim a 17-15 lead. Lovington’s got those two points back for the final tie of game one, 17-17, but then Windsor made their final run for the tape.

Curtis served to 19-17, then scored an ace. At game point, Burgess set Cole and she put it away for game one, 21-17.

Cole then stepped back to the service line to start game two and settled in for an 8-point bombing run. The rocket was on target and out of the eight serves, she nailed Lovington with five balls that didn’t have a prayer of coming back. Lovington called time down 7-0, but out of the time-out Cole sizzled one more by them.

The Redbirds got a temporary side-out, but Burgess tipped it for Windsor and got the serve, then scored on a short ace, 10-1. Lovington got a side-out, but Windsor answered with two points, Lovington got a side-out, again, but again Windsor answered with two points.

At 13-5 Windsor, a side-out gave Windsor the ball and Lovington would never get another serve.

Curtis stepped the line, started lifting her “silent serves” and didn’t stop until after match point, seven straight. At 16-5, Cole munched Lovington on stuff at the net, then at match point, 20-5, Curtis dropped in a short ace for the win.

In game two Cole and Curtis’ service runs accounted for 15 of the teams 21 points, the first eight and the last seven.

Windsor stats: Haley Maxwell 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 assist; Hannah Cole 8 aces, 2 kills, 1 assist; Sarah Curtis 2 assists; Jessica Burgess 1 assist.

Windsor faces #1 seed Cerro Gordo tonight at 6:15 p.m. at Findlay Okaw Valley. Findlay Okaw Valley plays the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m. against Stew-Stras, which annihilated Neoga last night.

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