The Hillsboro volleyball team made the long trip to Kingman pay off Sept. 18 by beating both the host team and the defending league champion, Pratt, in a triangular.
The Trojans, now 16-1 for the year, had a relatively easy time with Kingman on the way to a 25-7, 25-11 victory. Coach Sandy Arnold credited her team’s serving for taking the Wildcats out of their game.
“I thought all my servers served well and aggressively,” she said. “We had 10 aces in that match.
In Game 1, Tena Loewen served for a run of eight points, including four aces. Later, Danae Bina served for the final six points of the game.
“That took Kingman out pretty fast,” Arnold said of the runs. “But then we also got free balls, so we could attack.”
Bina added a seven-point serving run midway through Game 2, fueling the Trojans’ eight-point win.
Hillsboro encountered stiffer resistance against Pratt, but posted a 25-18, 26-24 win. The Greenbacks lost several key players from last year’s team, but Arnold credited coach Dean Rausch for the way his team battled.
“They’re really scrappy,” she said. “I’m sure they spent a lot of time preparing for us, and I wish we would have defended their middles better. But they’re always going to be a contender because he gets so much out of his girls. They’re very well coached and very determined.”
Except for a couple errors at crucial moments, Arnold said her team served well again. That was no more true than in Game 2. With Hillsboro trailing 24-19, Loewen stepped in and served out the game, scoring the final two points on aces.
The Trojan coach was pleased with other elements of her team’s performance, including the play of setter Maci Schlehuber.
“I thought all our attackers were clicking better with Maci, and that’s something we need to continue to do,” Arnold said. “I thought our passing was pretty decent, too, which allowed us to do all the other things.
“We’re going to have to keep working on stuff like that because (the schedule is) not going to get easier.”
Coming—The Trojans, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A again after a brief stint at No. 2, were scheduled Tuesday for a double-dual involving Lyons, Sterling and Smoky Valley.
Hillsboro will compete Saturday at the Canton-Galva Invitational with Goessel, Halstead, Hesston, Little River, Sunrise Christian, Moundridge and the host Eagles completing the eight-team field.
“I think they’re ready for a tournament,” Arnold said of her athletes. “We’re just now getting into the meat of our season. Our record shows we’ve played a lot of matches, but it’s been really dragged out, it seems. I think they’re ready to get into it.”
Next Tuesday, the Trojans will travel to Sterling for a double-dual. Hillsboro will play Sterling and Hesston.