Area Sports Round-up 10-18-23


Volleyball – Goessel went 3-2 at the league tournament on Saturday. Scores were as follows:

Herington defeated Goessel 25-23, 19-25, 26-24; Goessel defeated Solomon 25-16, 27-25;

Goessel defeated Elyria 25-12, 25-17; Goessel defeated Canton-Galva 25-11, 25-18; Little River defeated Goessel 25-21, 25-10.

Coming—Goessel moves to 27-9 on the season. They resume play next Saturday at Little River in sub-state play.


Volleyball – The Hillsboro High School Volleyball team had both an emotional and busy week. On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the team faced the Hoisington Cardinals and the Nickerson Panthers. Not only was it the final night of league action in which the Trojans had the opportunity to clinch first place in the CKL league – but it was also senior night for three Trojan players. If Hillsboro could win out they would claim first place in the league and finish undefeated in league play. Two league foes, however, stood in the way and were not going to make it easy on the Trojans. Hillsboro started the evening with a solid first game win over Hoisington at 25-18, only to fall in the second game 13-25. In the final and deciding set, Hillsboro jumped out to an early 20-14 lead, only to see the Cardinals cut that lead to one at 20-19 before the Trojans could get a stop. The game then seesawed back and forth. With the score tied at 22, Hillsboro took the final three points to win both the game and match 25-22.

Savannah Shahan, Zaylee Werth and Lauryn Vogt led the way with 10 and 9 kills respectively. Setters Kingzley Ratzlaff and Ella Potucek dished out 19 and 13 assists respectively.

In the last match of the evening, Hillsboro competed with the Nickerson Panthers. Nickerson came into the game with a lot of confidence after beating Hoisington in the previous match. Although Hillsboro jumped out to an early lead in the first game, Nickerson rattled off 10 straight points to put themselves right back into the game. With the Trojans up by only one at 18-17, the game was tight the rest of the way. Nickerson finally ended the tight battle winning 27-25. In game two Hillsboro also took a big lead behind the serving of Potucek. With the score at 14-9, Potucek served 9 straight points for the Trojans to put them up 24-10. This time the Trojans would not look back and finished the game winning, 25-11. In the final game, Hillsboro again jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The Trojans finished the game at 25-14. Amyah Werth ended the match with 26 digs.

The win sealed the league championship for Hillsboro. It is their 3rd straight CKL league championship in a row.

“I am so proud of the girls for hanging on during these league battles tonight. It seems like every team brings their best against us so to be up for those challenges and bounce back when the opponent makes a run is an amazing feat – especially in a tough league with all larger schools. Hoisington and Nickerson made us work very hard for it tonight. Kudos to our league,” said Coach Sandy Arnold.

Honored tonight were seniors Anslee Brewer, Savannah Shahan, and Zaylee Werth.

“Anslee, Sav, and Zaylee are amazing athletes and even better kids. Each of these girls has had a major impact on the Hillsboro Volleyball Program. I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to our team and program. They have shown great leadership in their senior season in both their attitudes and play. It has been a joy to coach them. They will be missed,” said Arnold.

The Trojans played in their annual Hillsboro Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 14. The tournament boasted four state ranked teams. And after pool play, it was those four teams that prevailed to continue into bracket play.

Hillsboro entered the tournament as a number two seed with a 25-4 record. They would start out the day in pool play facing the number six seed, Chapman, the number seven seed, Augusta, and the number three seed, Circle, who held the same record. Circle entered the tournament ranked number three in Class 4A.

In the first match Hillsboro defeated Chapman, 25-13, 25-17. In the second round Hillsboro defeated Augusta, 25-9, 25-13. The final round of pool play for the Trojans would determine the first and second place finishers. Facing a traditionally strong Circle Thunderbird team, the Trojans jumped out strong, taking the first game 25-16. In the second game, however, it was all Thunderbirds as they capitalized on Trojan mistakes, and won easily 25-5. The Trojans regrouped for the final game. And although it was back and forth the whole way, Circle came out on top 25-21.

With the loss Hillsboro would go into bracket play facing the number one seed in the other pool, Rock Creek. Rock Creek entered the tournament as number four in Class 4A. Hillsboro went to work early in the first game behind the serving of Kingzley Ratzlaff and never looked back, winning 25-12. The second game started out well for the Trojans as well, only to find Rock Creek blasting their way back into the game with an eight point streak to take the lead 16-12. The Trojans battled back to tie it at 24, but then Rock Creek finished out the last two points. The third and final game of the contest was one to remember. It was a battle from the beginning to the end – with both teams at match point multiple times. In the end it was the Trojans who would come out on top 31-29.

“There were a lot of factors that helped us win this match. I would say serving and blocking played an incredibly important role. Serving helped us get our opponents out of system and the touches on the ball by the blockers made it so much better for our defense to pick up big attacks from our talented opponents,” said Arnold.

The win over Rock Creek in the semi-finals of bracket play set up a rematch with Circle in the championship. Circle defeated Halstead in their semi-final match. It wasn’t until about the midway mark of the first game that the Trojans started to slightly pull away from Circle. At the 13-15 mark, Zaylee Werth stepped back to the service line and helped push the Trojans back into the lead at 17-15. From there Hillsboro chipped away, building on the lead and eventually winning 25-19. Hillsboro separated the score from Circle early in the second game, but the Thunderbirds would not go away. With the score knotted at 17 Hillsboro was able to gain a one-two point advantage and would eventually increase the lead to three. That would be the final advantage as they held on to win it 25-22.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of these girls for showing the grit they showed after getting beat soundly by Circle in pool play. After that match we made it a goal to give ourselves an opportunity for a rematch with Circle. Rock Creek gave us everything they had, but fortunately we prevailed. I wasn’t sure if we would have the gas to finish the tournament after the marathon match with Rock Creek – especially against a quality team like Circle – but the girls showed a lot of resilience – bouncing back with excellent play, execution of the game plan, and a great mindset. That, in itself, is worth its weight in gold. This tournament is great preparation for post-season play. The competitive level of these teams is just what we needed,” said Arnold.

Coming—Hillsboro Volleyball travels to Sterling on Tuesday, Oct. 17, to conclude regular season play. There they will take on Sterling and Hutchinson Trinity. On Saturday, Oct. 21, Hillsboro will host a class 2A sub-state volleyball tournament.


Cross-country – The Warriors competed in the HOA Championships in Hutchinson on Thursday, Oct. 12 where they took 3rd place.

“It was a windy day for the league champioships. The high school boys came in today ready for the challenge and our top three ran well. We are not at the point where we throw the stopwatch away and go get to where we need place wise,” said Coach Jason Hett.

Gavin Wasmuth medaled in 7th and Luke Wessel medaled in 8th today. They are HOA 2nd team runners.

Eli Klenda ran a strong race, and will be asked to do it again on Saturday.

“Zayden [Janzen], Harrison [Beery] and Owen [White] were off their pace today, but I know they will be ready to get it back next Saturday, as we look to qualify as a team for the state meet,” said Hett.

“Keenan [Lange] will round out our top seven runners next week. Jaxson [Salsbury], Josh [Smith], Sam [Calvert] and Damian [Trask] continue to improve and I look forward to seeing them grow the next couple years,” said Hett.

Coming—On to Regionals next week, where we will look to compete and be where we need to be to make a trip back to Wamego.

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