HHS falls to ranked Kingman, Hesston

Senior Abby Driggers hits past the block attempt by Kingman’s Grace DeWeese (3) during their match Sept. 26. Sechrist won the point but Kingman, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, won the match in straight sets.
Senior Abby Driggers hits past the block attempt by Kingman’s Grace DeWeese (3) during their match Sept. 26. Sechrist won the point but Kingman, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, won the match in straight sets.
Hillsboro volleyball’s run of four consecutive state-ranked opponents climaxed Sept. 26 with league losses at home to King­man and Hess­ton, ranked No. 1 and 3, respectively, in Class 3A.

The Trojans gave the Eagles all they could handle in the first set, which ended at 25-21. Kingman took the second set, 25-18.

“We had our moments,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “We did some good things, we just didn’t do them consistently enough. I feel like they can be beaten, but I don’t know that we had what it took to expose the weaknesses enough.”

Hillsboro squared off against Hesston in the nightcap, but came up shorter against the Swathers, 25-15, 25-18.

“If we had played to 15, it would have been a really good match,” Arnold said. “But there were a couple of runs from two of their servers that hurt us.

“We’d be within two or three points and playing decently, then all of a sudden we have a little spurt where either we can’t get the pass, or we can’t finish the hit, or we don’t get the set, or we miss a serve—and all of a sudden it’s eight or nine points (behind).”

Arnold is seeing improvement in her team.

“We’re getting better with our serving, we’re getting a little bit better with the service pressure,” she said. “We’re hitting holes better and we’re starting to hit harder—and kind of mixing it up more, which is what it takes.”

Coming—Hillsboro took a 7-12 season record to Haven Oct. 3 with an opportunity for a couple of league wins versus the Wildcats (1-5, 5-18) and Smoky Valley (0-6, 1-22).

The competition amps up considerably on Thursday, when the Trojans travel to Emporia to face the host school and Great Bend.

Hillsboro will cap the week Saturday at the McPher­son Invita­tional. The field also includes the host school, Garden Plain, God­dard, Hutchinson, Junction City, Lyons, Nickerson, Salina South and Bishop Carroll.

“We’ve got a big month,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “It’s a crazy month. We’re just hoping everybody stays healthy and injury-free because we can’t afford any of that.”