The Trojans, seeded sixth in the tournament, lost to the No. 3 seed, 25-20, 25-16, to finish the season with a 12-27 record. It is Hillsboro’s lowest winning percentage since 2002, and the lowest in the 13-season tenure of coach Sandy Arnold.
The Trojans never led in either set. The Gorillas, with a 22-10 record coming in, scored the first two points of the opening set and maintained a lead of four to six points before the Trojans pulled to within 22-19 late.
“We’ve been talking about Solomon since Wednesday,” Arnold said. “We had great motivation Saturday morning, and I thought they all kind of seemed pretty excited about it. We just didn’t work the game plan the way we were supposed to, and we didn’t play our best.”
The second set was even rougher. Hillsboro fell behind 4-0 at the start and trailed by as much 23-7 before battling back to the final nine-point deficit.
“I told them the adjustments we need to make for the second game, and thought we we’d come out because we learned a lot about what we should do,” Arnold said. “But we didn’t make the adjustments we needed. They found our weak spots and took advantage of it.”
In the semifinals, Solomon lost to the host team from Wabaunsee High, 25-9, 28-26. The hometown Chargers went on to win the title and a berth in the state tournament this weekend.