Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 04 September 2012 14:11
The Hillsboro volleyball team pushed its record to 9-0 Thursday with a three-game sweep at the Trojans’ home quadrangular.
Battling in the sauna-like conditions of Brown Gymnasium, Hillsboro defeated Southeast of Saline (21-25, 25-18, 25-14), Moundridge (25-8, 25-19) and Marion (25-16, 25-15).
The lack of air-conditioning in the gym didn’t seem to faze the Trojans, who practice in that environment daily.
“I do think that’s an advantage for us sometimes,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “As hot I was, it’s not anything new.”
That said, Hillsboro didn’t get off to a hot start against Southeast. HHS led 5-3 early in Game 1, then trailed until taking one last lead at 16-15 on a kill by Tena Loewen. Southeast rallied to push the margin to 22-18, then won by that spread at the end.
“I think they’re a decent team,” Arnold said of Southeast. “I think their coach works hard with them and gets a lot out of them. But we did not pass very well to start the night.
“We had to make a few adjustments,” she added. “We were a little worried with what their middles could do because they were tall. Once we figured out that they weren’t any different from anyone else we see, I thought we were fine.”
With Danae Bina serving, Hillsboro started Game 2 with a 5-0 run and never was seriously threatened again on the way to winning the next two games and the match.
The Trojans had a surprisingly easy time with tradition-rich Moundridge in the next match. After building a 12-7 lead in Game 1, the Trojans scored 11 straight points with Bina serving to take control at 23-7.
In Game 2, Hillsboro built a commanding 20-6 lead, but with Arnold substituting freely down the stretch, the Wildcats whittled the deficit to 23-19 before the Trojans finally scored the last two points.
Arnold said she was pleased with her team’s play against a team that had defeated a tough Hesston squad just two days earlier.
“I knew we were going to have to play—and we played,” she said. “We took a team that was kind of on a roll and didn’t let them do anything they wanted to do. When you do that, that makes it a whole lot easier.”
Serving was a key component of the Trojans’ success.
“Our serving was on fire,” Arnold said. “I’ve been talking to them about pulling the jump serve out, because we have several who can do it. I told them we don’t have to do it all night long, but I’d like to start working it in so it becomes something we do.”
Against the final match of the evening Marion, the Trojans jumped to a 4-0 start in the first game, then built and maintained a lead of six to seven points before finishing with a nine-point win.
In Game 2, Marion enjoyed an early 2-0 lead but the Trojans scored eight straight points behind the serving of Addie Lackey to take control of the game and match. The lead grew to as much as 24-11 down the stretch.
For the evening, Moundridge finished 2-1, Southeast 1-2 and Marion 0-3.
Beyond the wins, Arnold said she has happy to get so many of her players into the action over the course of the evening.
“We just have a lot of talent—it makes it fun,” she said. “I just think we’re getting more confident, we’re getting used to each other and we’re trying to improve each time and get back to where we ended last season.”
Coming—Hillsboro, currently ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, was to travel to Hesston Tuesday to take on the Swathers and Douglass, a 3A state qualifier last season, in a triangular.
The Trojans will head to Herington Thursday for a double-dual. Hillsboro is slated to play the home team and Council Grove. Riley County will be the fourth team participating.
Matches begin at 4 p.m.