Hillsboro advances to semifinals of the 2A volleyball tournament with 3-0 record in pool play

Shannon Heiser (27) and Alex Ratzlaff  (16) attempt to block a hit by Mission Valley's Mariah Rilinger as the supportive Trojan student body cheers them on in the stands.The top seeded Hillsboro volleyball team (38-1 coming in) came through pool play slightly bruised but unscathed by winning all three of its games during the opening day at the Class 2A state tournament in the White Civic Auditorium at Emporia.
The Trojans took care of No. 8 Meade (18-18) in the first pool matchup, 25-17, 25-6. Hillsboro appeared tight in the early going, making three consecutive service errors as Meade hung in at 7-5. Meade was within one point at 12-11 before the Trojans slowly started to separate en route to the 8-point margin. In the second set, Hillsboro jumped to a 4-0 lead and never looked back as the final margin grew to 19 points.

Hillsboro won its second pool matchup against Jefferson County North (34-8), 25-23, 24-18. The score remained close from the start, although the Trojans never led until a service ace by Lakyn Johnson put them on top, 18-17. Hillsboro trailed again at 19-18 before building a 23-20 lead that carried them to the 2-point win. Set 2 also was close, but once the Trojan gained their first lead at 4-3 on a service ace by Maddi Duerksen, they defended it to the end and extended the margin down the stretch.

In the final pool match of the day, Hillsboro handled Mission Valley relatively easily in Set 1, nailing down a 25-14 win. Three consecutive serving runs of at least three points by Shannon Heiser, Addie Lackey, Duerksen, Danae Bina and Alex Ratzlaff separate the two teams down the stretch.

In Set 2, Hillsboro hit its first bump in the road. The Trojans took an early lead, but an 8-0 serving run by Kylie Coble — supported by the strong hitting of Jade Hodge and Allison Zerbe –vaulted the Vikings from a 19-16 deficit into a 24-19 lead. The 25-20 final forced a deciding third set, where Mission Valley succumbed to a rejuvenated and refocused Trojan team by a 25-13 margin.

Tomorrow, Hillsboro will play in the semifinals at 2 p.m. against either No. 2 seeded Smith Center or No. 3 seeded Bucklin/Ashland, both of whom went 2-1 in pool play. Bucklin/Ashlin did defeat Smith Center in their face-to-face game.

Class 2A State Tournament: Pool Play I
Hillsboro def. Meade, 25-17, 25-6
Hillsboro def. Jefferson Co. North, 25-23, 25-20
Hillsboro def. Mission Valley, 25-14, 20-25, 25-13
Jefferson Co. North def. Meade, 25-18, 25-15
Jefferson Co. North def. Mission Valley, 25-18, 16-25, 25-23
Mission Valley def. Meade?? ?25-21, 25-22

Class 2A State Tournament: Pool Play II
Moundridge def. Pittsburg Colgan?? ?25-21, 25-8
Smith Center def. Moundridge, 25-23, 25-2
Smith Center def. Pittsburg Colgan, 25-8, 25-21

Ashland def. Smith Center, 26-24, 25-23
Pittsburg Colgan def. Ashland?? ?14-25, 25-2
Ashland def. Moundridge?? ?28-26, 25-22

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