ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro High School volleyball team has been improving markedly the past two weeks, but still didn’t get a win to show for it against Smoky Valley Tuesday at Lindsborg.
The Trojans lost the first match in four games, 16-21, 21-19, 18-21, 16-21, but took the Vikings to the limit in the second match before falling, 21-16, 16-21, 21-18, 18-21, 13-15.
“I saw a tremendously improved team from the beginning of the year,” said coach Collette Burton. “They were working together and seemed to have a lot of chemistry on the court. I was proud of them-and they were very exciting to watch.”
The second match may have been the best show yet from a team that does not have even one returning letter-winner this season.
“I told them win or lose, I just wanted them to go out and give 100 percent, and I thought they did that,” Burton said. “I think they were proud of themselves for the way they played, but still a little disappointed in not getting a win.”
The Trojans, as a team, served 94.2 percent in the second match, making 81 of 86. Alisa Prior was a perfect 17-for-17, Charity Davis 21-for-22, Emily Ratzlaff 14-for-15 and April Funk 12-for-13.
The team also recorded a season-high 34 blocks in that match. Andrea King had eight and Katie Fast, Alisa Jost and April Funk each had seven. Funk was 85-for-90 on sets.
Elise Matz led the team in digs with 27 and Davis added 22. The team finished with 110 for the match.
After another late-night finish, Burton said she and other MCAA coaches are not happy with how long matches are taking under the rally-scoring experiment.
“I’m really not liking it just because of how late it’s keeping the girls out on school nights,” Burton said. “It’s making them very tired the next day for school and for practice.
“I think most teams in the league, as far as I have heard, are having similar feelings.”
She said MCAA athletic directors are trying to decide whether the league will continue with the experiment after September.
“We’ve heard back from two teams so far, and they are saying they want to stop,” Burton said.
The Trojans (3-10) are back in action Tuesday, making the long trip to Ellinwood. Freshman will play at 5 p.m. with the varsity’s first match starting at 6 p.m.