HHS cruises to 4th tournament title

 Hillsboro?s Shannon Heiser scores on a block against Rock Creek?s Lyla Lenauer during the first set of the championship match. The Trojans claimed their fourth regular-season title with a two-set win over the Mustangs at the 20th Trojan Invitational. You have to be a pretty good team when you win your home invitational tournament with a 5-0 record and in the minimum 10 sets?and the coach isn?t thrilled.

That was the situation Saturday for the Hills?boro volleyball team, now 33-1 and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A.

Coach Sandy Arnold said she was glad her team won a fourth regular-season tournament for the first time in school history?but she wasn?t as pleased with the day as you might think.

?I was OK with the first three matches,? Arnold said of pool play. ?I was a little disappointed in our play in the semis and finals. I didn?t feel we put the teams away like we should have.?

For Arnold, the Trojans? semifinal match with Circle (26-9) was Exhibit A. Hills?boro led 21-10 in the second set before finally nailing down the win at 25-19.

?If you do that against a decent team on a wrong day, you?re going to go home,? Arnold said, referring to post-season play on the near horizon.

?I just want to make sure we understand that we can?t lose our focus. I never felt like we were going to lose Saturday, but we kind of let our guard down. I guess it?s hard to (play at the top of your game) all day long, but I think we need to be prepared for that.?

The Trojans rolled through pool play by defeating Augusta (7-27) 25-14, 25-8, Sunrise Christian (20-18) 25-8, 25-12 and Sterling (20-14) 25-23, 25-14.

In bracket play, Hillsboro defeated Circle, 25-18, 25-18, in the semifinals and Rock Creek (25-11), 25-20, 25-19 in the championship game.

?To take them all in two (sets) says a lot, because a lot of teams still want to beat you,? Arnold said. ?There?s fine line between we took care of business, but we didn?t do it quite the way I was wanting to.

?I?m only saying that because of the time of year it is. I don?t want anybody to sneak up on us and take one from us when they aren?t the better team.?

Arnold was pleased that all her players saw some action during the day, and she liked the opportunity to face off with some teams the Trojans hadn?t played this season.

?I always think that adds a challenge to it because we have to figure them out,? she said. ?We haven?t seen them before, so we don?t know what kind of hitters they have and we don?t know what kind of defense they have.

?We really have to focus. That?s the good part.?

CKL triangular?Hillsboro secured its second consecutive 9-0 Central Kansas League title by defeating Nickerson, 25-9, 25-9, and Halstead, 25-12, 25-12, in a triangular Oct.15 in Brown Gymnasium.

?Winning league was just one of the goals we had this year,? coach Sandy Arnold said. We knew that the Hesston match would probably determine the league, and that match lived up to its billing. So, we survived that battle another year.?

Arnold didn?t want senior night to be a distraction.

?I just told the girls to be focused because last year on senior night we blew a match because we were so caught up in the night emotionally?and the night really did matter for league and future seedings.

?I was proud of the way the girls came out and handled themselves both mentally and emotionally.?

Coming?The Trojans were scheduled to complete the regular season Tuesday with matches against Sedg?wick and Hutch Trinity at Hutchinson.

The Trojans will try to earn their first state berth in Class 2A volleyball Saturday when they travel to Hering?ton for sub-state play.

Join?ing the Trojans and Railers are Berean Acad?emy, Can?ton-Galva, Chase County, Peabody-Burns, Remington, Rural Vista and Solomon.

Matches begin at 1 p.m.

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