Intensity lapse costs Trojans a match against Vikings

That old bugaboo of inconsistent play rose up and bit the Hillsboro volleyball team hard enough Tuesday to cost them a split in their two matches against Smoky Valley at Brown Gymnasium.

The Trojans dominated the opening game of the the first match, 15-6, but fell into a funk in the second game, struggling with serve receives and passing. By the time they woke up, they trailed 13-1. The Trojans made a furious comeback, but fell short, 15-13.

It was more of the same in the third game as the Trojans again dug themselves into a hole too deep to climb out of and lost the game and the match by another 15-13 score.

“Our passing was terrible,” coach Collette Burton said of the deciding third game. “I think it was a carry-over from the second game.”

Burton was disappointed in the way her team let down after a strong start.

“In the first game, we came out and we moved well and won pretty easily,” Burton said. “The second game we just lost our focus. One (Viking) server had a really high serve and we just were not getting our passes up to our setter.

“It really took us out of our game and our intensity level right then.”

Burton said her team’s ability to rally in games two and three were little consolation for the lapses.

“It’s a good thing they can come back, but if they let themselves down that much against a really good team, we won’t be able to come back like that,” she said.

Burton was pleased that her Trojans returned to form in the second match of the evening, sweeping the Vikings easily, 15-6, 15-6.

“In the second match I was proud of them for coming out there and picking up their level of game and showing the other team how they can play,” Burton said.

“They came out, they moved well, they hit the ball,” she added. “That’s all we had to do to take Smoky Valley out of their game-to hit the ball hard at them. They’re not tall so we really didn’t have a problem with blocks.”

The Trojans (11-2) were successful on 90 percent of their serves for the night, including a 30-for-32 performance with seven aces by Shannon Kroeker. Jenna Jost was a perfect 16-for-16, Andrea Peachey was 17-for-18. Jill Hein 14-for-15 and Holly Lindsay 12-for-13.

Hein also recorded a team-high 12 kills, eight stuffs and 23 digs.

Lindsay was successful on 59 of 62 sets and Kroeker made good on 63 of 67.

The Trojans were scheduled to play Ellinwood at Brown Gymnasium Tuesday evening. On Saturday, they will compete in the eight-team Canton-Galva Invitational. The following Tuesday, the Trojans return to MCAA action with a pair of matches on the road against Wichita Collegiate. Freshman begin play at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity, junior varsity and varsity matches.

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