Hillsboro?s young but resilient volleyball team overcame stretches of inconsistency Thursday evening to post three wins at the quadrangular hosted by Marion.
In the opening match, Hillsboro beat the host team 25-19, 26-24, then beat the defending Class 2A state champions from Moundridge, 25-13, 25-19, before beating South?east of Saline in the nightcap, 25-17, 25-21.
The Trojans? 3-0 performance for the evening boosted their season record to 9-0.
After winning Game 1 against Marion, the Trojans found themselves with their backs to the wall with a 24-21 deficit in Game 2. But with Tena Loewen serving, Hillsboro reeled off five straight points to steal the game and seal the match.
?I didn?t think we played our best in that match?I thought we were a little sluggish,? coach Sandy Arnold said. ?There were little things we needed to do that we didn?t remember to do.
?The only thing I can say is we stuck with our game plan even when we were down,? she added. ?We talked about not trying to do it all at once, but play one point at a time. I had a calmness that if we could just get back to tying it up, we?d be OK.?
The 2010 Moundridge team is looking for inexperienced players to fill the void created by the graduation of several seniors?a scenario much like Hillsboro?s.
But the young Trojans held a clear upper hand on the way to a comfortable win against the Wildcats.
?I thought this was our best match of the evening,? Arnold said. ?We served very well and played better defense. We got to more balls that weren?t hit directly at us. We worked on that this week in practice. I was pretty proud that they used what we had worked on.
?Moundridge will get better as the year goes on,? Arnold added. ?They have talent.?
Coming off their best match of the night, the Trojans finished the evening with what Arnold felt was their sloppiest performance.
?(Southeast was) a team that hustled, then threw a lot of stuff back?and I didn?t feel we were always ready for it,? Arnold said. ?That made us not pass as well, which affected our setting and hitting.?
For the evening, Arnold was pleased with the way her team battled through adversity.
?We had different people who stepped up at different times throughout the night,? Arnold said. ?Hayley (Jirak) had several aces against Marion, and Tena hit the ball well all night long other than when our passing was off.
?Tena, Allie, Krista and Danae (Bina) all did some out-of-the-box individual defense?and that kind of stuff excites the rest of the team when you pop something up like that.?
Coming?Hillsboro will try to extend its winning streak when the team makes its home debut Thursday against a tough Hesston squad and Douglass in Robert C. Brown Gymnasium.
?I just hope everyone understands that we?re still young and our youth shows at times,? Arnold said about her team?s surprising start. ?I try to be very patient because I understand that they?re learning. Sometimes I get frustrated, but I try not to show it because I know they?re young.?
Matches begin Thursday at 5 p.m.