PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Lady Cardinals took care of business, beating Bishop McGuinness 3-0 to advance to the Northwest Conference Tournament final.
East Surry takes on a Mount Airy squad that it has beaten twice already, with both matches going 3-1.
East Surry is 21-4, with three of those losses coming to North Surry (undefeated in the Western Piedmont Conference) and North Wilkes (undefeated in the Mountain Valley). The Cards have gone 14-1 since the start of September, with the lone loss in the rematch with North Surry.
While the Cards had a first-round bye, Bishop had to win to reach the semis. That didn’t prove to be much of a challenge against Walkertown (6-18).
Against East, the Lady Villains went up 2-1 at the start, but the home team went on a 10-1 run for a commanding lead. The Villains played evenly after that, but East won comfortably at 25-12.
East started off 5-2 in the second set before Bishop took an early timeout. Still, the lead continued to grow to 15-6 before Bishop took six of the next seven points to close to 16-12.
The lead was still four points at 20-16 when the Cards took the final five points for another win.
Bishop led 3-1 in the third set before East went on a 10-1 spurt to take the lead. Bishop came right back with four straight points to close to 11-8. The Villains’ push continued as the visitors closed to 14-13.
East responded with five straight points. Then after a couple of Villain points, the home team ran off four more to reach 23-15.
Bishop kept fighting, but East pulled out a 25-20 set to clinch. Setter Bethany Clayton closed the match with a soft two-hand touch that caught the defense off-guard.
Clayton finished with 25 assists, six kills, five aces, two blocks and eight digs.
Cameron Sloop had 12 kills, 11 digs and three aces. Kendall Beck had seven kills and two blocks. Sarah Marion had 11 digs and six kills. Alyssa Jessup had five kills.
Libero Morgan Smith had 10 digs and two aces, and defensive specialist Elise Hayes had five digs.
East Surry and Mount Airy face off at 6 p.m. for the conference title.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.