But in the critical third pool match-up with Hoisington, it was the Trojans who came out on the short end of a two-game sweep, 25-21, 25-21.
The hard-fought victory made Hoisington, seeded third at 19-9 and 2-0 coming into the match, the pool winner, pairing it with the runner-up from the other pool, which was Conway Springs, seeded fourth at 18-12.
Hillsboro, meanwhile, as the runner-up in its pool, faced off with top-seeded Rock Creek (23-4) in the opening round of the championship bracket.
In a razor-close opening game, the Trojans led very early in the contest, then didn?t lead again until a kill by Dakota Kaufman put HHS on top 22-21. The two teams were tied at 24 when the Mustangs took the next two points for a 26-24 win.
In Game 2, Rock Creek took its first lead at 7-6, but it never grew to more than two points until the Mustangs went on a six-point run to push the margin to 21-15. The lead grew to as many as eight points at 24-16 before settling in at a 26-24 final.
The loss put the Trojans into the match for third place with Conway Springs, who had lost to Hoisington, 22-25, 20-25.
In Game 1, the Trojans appeared to be venting their frustration on Conway, streaking to an easy 25-9 blowout victory.
But Conway regrouped in Game 2 and led almost the entire way, finishing with a 25-21 win.
In the rubber match, Hills?boro fell behind 1-4, but stayed close until tying the score at 13. Slowly, the Trojans built a modest lead from there, peaking at 21-16 on an ace by Kaufman.
But Conway came roaring back, regaining the lead at 22-21 on a service ace by Ashlyn Macy that capped a 6-0 scoring run.
The Cardinals pushed the lead to 23-21 before a kill by Hillsboro?s Frannie Gottsch broke the streak.
But Conway stepped to the brink of victory at 24-22 before a kill by Taryn Mayfield ignited a 4-0 Hillsboro surge that ended in a 26-24 Trojan victory and the third-place finish.
Marion, meanwhile, went 1-2 for the day. The Warriors started by winning their opening game with Hoisington, 25-17. But the Cardinals came back strong for a pair of 25-12 victories to take the match.
After the loss to Hillsboro, the Warriors ended their run in the tournament with a decisive 25-15, 25-13 win over Sterling to push their season record to 12-19.
Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to conclude its regular season Tuesday by hosting a quadrangular with Wichita Collegiate, Sterling and Ellinwood at Brown Gymna?sium.
Marion was scheduled for a quadrangular at Haven.
Saturday, both schools travel to Whitewater, where Remington will host the single-elimination sub-state tournament.
Seedings and starting times won?t be announced until Wednesday, Oct. 22, but the field also includes Halstead, Hutchin?son Trinity, Lyons, Sedgwick, Sterling and the host school.
The winning team will advance to the state tournament in Salina the following Saturday.