No. 2 seed North Star sweeps Four Winds/Minnewaukan 25-13, 25-12, 25-18 to advance to the Region 4 volleyball tournament semifinals.

As loud as Four Winds/Minnewaukan senior Louelle Deng’s cheering section get to mimic her serves, losing can be as deafeningly quietly.

The Region 4 tournament 2-seed North Star Bearcats brought the noise in a much more subtle way, using huge runs to put away the Indians in a three-set sweep Monday to advance to today’s semifinals and in the process eliminating the Indians.

“I think the nerves got the best of us tonight,” said Indians head volleyball coach Megan Weisser. “North Star is a really, really good team and we were just a step slow.”

The Indians came out in the first set and built an early 4-1 lead that North Star’s Danielle Hagler halted with a kill. Hagler’s point was the first in a 5-0 run that resulted in Weisser using a timeout. The timeout didn’t faze the momentum as the Bearcats added three more points before the run ended. Four Winds/Minnewaukan went from up three to down five after the run stopped. The Bearcats’ lead grew to as much as 11 before the set ended with North Star winning 25-13.

The run came faster for the Bearcats in the second set. An ace by Madison Peters made the score 7-2 and when Weisser used a timeout, North Star’s lead was eight. Up 11, North Star outscored the Indians 5-3 to conclude the set, winning it 25-12.

The Indians kept pace with the Bearcats in the early stages of the third set. With the score tied, consecutive Latasha Bellile kills put the Indians ahead and after North Star tied the set, a Myona Dauphinais kill gave Four Winds/Minnewaukan the lead back. However, with the score knotted at 8, Jasmine Heisler’s kill put the Bearcats ahead for good. An ace by Peters put North Star up 20-12 and the Bearcats ended the match by winning the final set 25-18.

“The first two games didn’t go so well but they didn’t lay down and die and they could’ve easily done that,” Weisser said.

Dauphinais had two aces and nine assists, Bellile had five kills and Deng finished with four kills and two blocks for the Indians who reached the region quarterfinals for the first time in program history.

“We far exceeded our expectations. The girls fought everyday, got better everyday and as a coach that all you can ask,” Weisser said.

Hagler had 19 kills, three blocks and two aces, Maya Halverson had 14 kills and two aces and Peters had five aces and 12 assists to pace the Bearcats.

Hagler had 19 kills, three blocks and two aces, Maya Halverson had 14 kills and two aces and Peters had five aces and 12 assists to pace the Bearcats.

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com and on Twitter: @ChrisHarris_DLJ