SEFFNER — Armwood coach Mike Wyatt talked about how service was the key to his team's success.
It almost proved to be the Hawks' undoing as well.
Armwood dropped Game 3 and was taken to the wire in Game 4, but the Hawks held on to defeat visiting Central 25-19, 25-12, 22-25, 25-20 Tuesday night in a Class 5A region quarterfinal, advancing to host next Tuesday's semifinal against Newsome.
"Serving has been our strong point all season," Wyatt said. "We just got a little sloppy after the second game with our serves."
Before that, however, the Hawks were pinpoint.
Emilee Taylor had eight of her match-high 21 kills and finished off Game 1 with a wicked cross-court spike.
Armwood's (16-1) service game took over in Game 2, led by freshman Jada Spano's five aces. Spano finished with 11 aces for the match.
"I've been working hard on (serving) and it's gotten better throughout the year," Spano said. "I kind of hit a floater, but I've learned to hit it harder."
Game 3, however, was a different story.
The Hawks struggled with their serve-receive game and Central (13-9) took advantage. Trailing 21-18, the Bears went on a 7-1 run to close out the game.
"We just needed that spark," Central coach Emily Gore said. "We got it late in that game. It's just too bad we didn't get it sooner."
Central led 20-19 in Game 4 when Wyatt called a timeout.
"Coach just told us to get back to basics," Spano said.
Armwood then closed it out with a 5-1 run, punctuated by a pair of Laura Smith aces to end the match.