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Sports Editor

AYER — Anyone hearing sirens between 7:00 and 8:30 on Monday night can blame the Millis volleyball team. The Mohawks used a deep and talented front line to go on a killing spree as they advanced in the District playoffs with a 25-12, 25-14, 23-25, 25-9 victory over an overmatched Ayer squad.

The Lady Panthers entered the match with a sterling 15-5 record while Millis came in with an 11-8 mark. But anyone in attendance had to be wondering who was on the Mohawks’ schedule. Their play belied their record as they were big, strong, skilled and deep.

“Millis is the best team we have seen this season,” said Ayer coach Donna Ferreira. “Their hitters hit sharp crosscourt balls and they utilize fast sets. Their setter is phenomenal and our girls haven’t seen anything like them.”

Millis was dominant, recording 58 serving points in the match, including nine aces. They complemented that with their power game at the net that produced a staggering 40 kills.

Ayer finished with 21 serving points, two aces, and nine kills.

“I think we adjusted after the first game and played better,” said Ferreira. “It was nice to win the third game. We had a great season and this is a great group of girls.”

Millis set the tone early in the first game by bolting out to a 9-3 lead with strong play at the net. Ayer closed to within 12-8 on a kill by Jen Ferreira, but the visitors scored 13 of the final 17 points to pull away. Keying the first game win was 12 kills and seven service points from Jessica Lee, including a pair of aces.

Game two had much the same script as Millis got five service points each from Hillary McBride and Mary Kate Shuker to move in front 16-5. The Lady Panthers played even over the remainder of the game but dug themselves a 2-0 hole.

Ayer showed some resilience and rallied back to win the third game. The game was close throughout, and Millis held an 18-15 lead when the Lady Panthers put together a 7-0 run to take control. After a sideout, Kim Farrington came up with a block at the net for the first of seven successive serving points by Ferreira. Millis wouldn’t go away and clawed back to within 24-23 on a kill by Deidre Nash, but Ayer sided out to send the match to game four.

The Mohawks put the pedal to the metal in the fourth game and sealed the deal. Led by Lee and Shannon Heffernan, they regained their dominance up front. A 16-2 spurt built the Mohawks lead from 4-3 to 20-6 and punched their ticket to the next round.

Lee paced the victory with seven service points and ten kills while Heffernan added ten kills. Nash chipped in with seven service points and six kills. In the match, 14 different Millis players etched their name into the scorebook.

Ferreira led Ayer with seven service points, five kills and a block while Kim Farrington finished with three service points, two kills and two blocks, and Brynnan Farrington five service points and a kill.