Trojans earn first league victory

Hillsboro libero Savannah Unruh jump serves against Larned during the first set of the Trojans’ three-set victory. The win was Hillsboro’s first in league play and snapped a nine-game losing streak overall.The Hillsboro volleyball team snapped a nine-game losing streak Sept. 27 with a sweep of Lar­ned and Life Prep Academy Sept. 27 at Brown Gymnasium.

The two wins improved Hillsboro’s record to 7-12 for the season. The Trojans’ 23-25, 25-15, 25-21 win over Larned marked the Trojans’ first Central Kansas League win in six tries.

The Larned game followed a similar pattern to Hillsboro’s win over the Indians at the start of the season. The Trojans came out tentatively and lost the first set before picking up the energy in the final two.

“It was good to see them come back after that first game,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “I’m not really sure why we had that lull, because I thought they seemed excited in the locker room.

“But they did a good job rebounding,” she added. “I wish the third game would have been a little cleaner, but overall I thought we did some good things that obviously helped us come out in the end.”

Matched with a lesser-skilled Life Prep squad, Arnold used the opportunity to provide court experience for some of her lesser-used players.

“It was good to get some different kids in there to see how they would perform,” Arnold said. “I know it wasn’t a strong varsity environment, but it was good for them to get their feet wet and play with those (starters).”

Coming—Hillsboro will have its hands full this week. On Tuesday, the Trojans were to host Nickerson and Smoky Valley, who are tied for second place in the CKL at 5-1.

On Thursday, the Trojans will host Class 5A Great Bend and Emporia, then will travel to McPherson on Saturday for a tournament. In addition to the Trojans and the host school, the tournament field includes Garden Plain, God­dard, Salina South, Bishop Carroll, Lyons, Nickerson and Hutch­in­­son.

“It will be a challenge, but if we come in and play hard and compete, give everything we have and do the things we ask them to do, it will be OK—as long as we continue to grow toward the end of the season,” Arnold said.

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