Windham begins run in tournament with win

CORTLAND – A week break between games didn’t slow down the Windham volleyball team against Lowellville on Thursday.

“We’re used to playing on Tuesday and Thursday consistently,” Bombers coach Michael Chaffee said. “We had a week of practice, which we’re not used to. It drags a little bit.”

In its first 2013 Division IV sectional game, Windham made quick work of the Rockets, winning in three games by scores of 25-6, 25-16 and 25-16.

“We started pretty quick, which is really good, especially when you’re out of routine,” Chaffee said. “It was the first time with a game on the floor in a while and we didn’t make many mistakes, which is a good sign.

“It was a good start to what we hope is a long tournament.”

The Bombers (21-2) lost to Ledgemont in the 2012 district final after an 18-7 season. Getting to that step again, preferably further, would be ideal for senior Morgan Schreiner, playing in her last year of organized volleyball.

“It’d be the best feeling ever,” Schreiner said. “Getting to regionals would be a dream this year.”

She had seven digs against Lowellville, which finished the year at 8-14.

“It’s exciting coming here again,” Schreiner said. “We’ve had a really good season and we’re excited to go far in the tournament.”

Brittany Collins is the other senior in the Windham starting lineup. Juniors Dari Heller and Jessica Isler pace the Bombers, as the first four off the bench are also underclassmen.

“We have a lot of kids that would start on a lot of other teams,” Chaffee said. “Volleyball is a little different sport to sub in because it’s such a momentum game. Basketball is easier when you’re up 22 points with 5 minutes to go, you can clean out the bench and make those kind of substitutions.”

Isler led with 24 assists, 22 points and 10 aces, while Heller landed 13 kills. Collins chipped in with six digs, and sophomore Brittany Knight had nine points and five digs.

“I’ve been watching the younger girls play since they were in third grade,” Schreiner said. “They all play together well and they work as a team. We’re all close and have great communication.”

In Game 1, Windham went on runs of five- and eight-straight points, with Heller picking up three aces in a row to get to 20 points. Lowellville actually led first in the next two games and captured an 8-7 lead before Chaffee called a timeout. After the stoppage, the Bombers racked up 12 of the next 15 points.

“Lowellville got some points and got some swings in,” Chaffee said. “We had to get back to some fundamental things. We were standing up, reaching outside the body a little bit and those things are easy to do. We got it back and served pretty well.”

Ally Wereb led the Rockets with three points, two aces and two kills, while Lex Phillips had three kills and three digs. For Windham, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Karsyn Mullen tallied seven kills.

In Thursday’s second match, No. 4 seed Newbury beat Fairport Harding in three sets and will face the Bombers on Monday at 6:30 p.m. The Black Knights beat Windham in two sets in a three-team tournament on Sept. 14.

Ledgemont plays Maplewood on Monday at 5 p.m.