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GFW advances in 2A playoffs

WINTHROP — Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop extended its season with a 25-14, 25-16, 25-15 victory over Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity on Monday in Section 2A, North Sub-Section volleyball action.

GFW (16-14), the No. 6 seed, will travel to BOLD, the No. 3 seed on Thursday.

The Thunderbirds earned a point midway through the first set. Both teams kept the ball in play with solid returns. GFW got the point on a Bulldog unforced error. That started a 6-0 run. A LPHT unforced error and an out-of-bounds hit by the Bulldogs gave GFW its final two points to win the set.

Brynn Busse and Julia Schweiss had a double block at the net to increase GFW’s lead to 17-9 in the second set. Hannah Panitzke scored two points for the Thunderbirds on a tip and a kill, making 20-14. A GFW kill coupled with an unforced error and two out-of-bounds hits by LPHT gave the set to the Thunderbirds.

The third set saw LPHT hold an early 4-3 advantage. GFW regained a 6-5 lead on a kill.

The Thunderbirds kept the Bulldogs at bay after that. Schweiss’ block gave GFW a 19-11 lead. GFW had a 5-1 run which included two inbound tips by the defense to win the set and the match.

“We did a fine job of swinging, and we were calm and relaxed tonight,” GFW co-head coach Chris Wortz said.

Hannah Thorsen led GFW with 22 set assists. Busse had 16 set assists, 12 digs, nine kills and two blocks. Shelby Ramirez had 11 kills. Schweiss added 10 kills and three blocks. Panitzke had 17 digs and four ace serves. Kaity Lee contributed 14 digs.

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