Hillsboro fourth at Trojan Invitational

by Don Ratzlaff

The Free Press

Hillsboro’s volleyball team struggled to a 1-4 record at its annual Tro­jan Invita­tional on Satur­day, but that was good enough to place fourth in the eight-team field.

Augusta, Hillsboro’s first opponent in pool play, won the tournament by beating Andale in a two-set sweep in the championship finals to improve its record to 23-11.

In the second match-up in pool play, the Trojans defeated Sunrise Christian Academy in three sets. Sunrise came into the tournament with a 17-12 record.

“I was proud of the Sun­rise game because they kind of came out that third game and decided how it should be,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “We had a lot of good blocking, which kind of set the tone for the rest of that game—and it got them frustrated, which was good.”

But the upswing didn’t last as Minneapolis came from behind in the third set of its final pool match to defeat the Trojans.

Arnold called that game the most disanointing match of the day by far.

“I don’t know if we went on cruise control, or if we made too many mistakes, or if they got on a roll,” she said. “We should have had that one, and it would have made our record a whole lot better.”

Despite a 1-2 pool record, the Trojans got a seeding break by qualifying for the four-team championship bracket. But Hillsboro was swept twice by Andale in the semifinals and swept by Circle in the third-place game.

“We just can’t get over the hump mentally in these close games,” Arnold said. “It’s the same story. We struggle to terminate and then our defense is having to play too much of the time. Either we don’t get the block or we don’t get the dig—or both. Then we just can’t hang them.”

Coming—Hillsboro will enter sub-state play Saturday with an 11-25 season record.

In addition to the host team, Alma-Wabaunsee, the Class 2A field also includes Northern Heights, Valley Heights, Canton-Galva, Chase County, Herington, Lyndon and Solomon.

Tournament seedings will be announced Wednes­day.

Coach Sandy Arnold said her team cannot overlook anyone this weekend.

“At least we’ve been playing strong competition,” she said. “Maybe that will help us going into the weekend.”

Trojan invitational

Oct. 15, Brown Gymnasium

Pool play

Pool A: Andale def. Circle, 25-17, 25-13; Chapman def. Rock Creek, 25-21, 21-25, 25-23; Andale def. Chap­man 25-21, 25-9; Circle def. Rock Creek, 25-17, 28-26, Andale def. Rock Creek, 25-21, 25-15, Circle def. Chapman, 25-23, 25-18

Pool B: Augusta def. Hillsboro, 25-9, 25-19, Sunrise Christian def. Minnea­polis, 26-24, 20-25, 26-24; Augusta def. Minneapolis, 25-12, 25-14; Hillsboro def. Sunrise Chris­tian, 21-25, 25-23, 25-16; Augusta def. Sunrise Christian 25-21, 25-3; Minneapolis def. Hillsboro, 25-15, 9-25, 25-20.

Championship bracket

Semifinals: Andale def. Hills­boro, 25-20, 25-13; Augusta def. Circle, 25-22, 25-11.

Third place: Circle def. Hillsboro, 25-17, 25-23

Championship: Augusta def. Andale, 25-18, 25-18.

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