Trojans sweep Larned, Sterling

Shannon Heiser passes the ball during Hillsboro?s two-set win over Larned Tuesday. The Trojans went on to defeat Sterling to maintain a share of first place in the Central Kansas League.

The Hillsboro volleyball team picked up two more home-court victories last Tuesday, this time against league opponents Larned and Sterling.

With four straight wins, the Trojans have maintained their share of a three-way tie for first place in the Central Kansas League at 6-1, and improved their season mark to 12-6.

In the opening game, Hillsboro made short work of Larned, needing only 35 minutes to claim a 25-9, 25-8 sweep of the Indians, who slipped to 7-18 for the season and 1-6 in the CKL.

Sterling was a tougher matchup in the nightcap, but Hillsboro prevailed, 25-21, 25-17. The Black Bears, who swept Larned in the middle game, completed the evening with a 9-11 season mark and a 3-4 record in the CKL.

?We served the ball well all night long,? coach Sandy Arnold said of her team. ?When you can serve well, it seems to make your offense click because you?ve gotten them out of system, so they?re giving you easier balls, which allows you to set up your offense better.?

Coming?Hillsboro was to begin a monster week of com?petition Tuesday when the Trojans traveled to Linds??borg to take on Smoky Valley (5-2, 12-6) and Nicker?son (2-5, 5-14).

The road gets tougher from there, with a long drive to Great Bend on Thursday to take on the Panthers and Newton. Both schools are Class 5A; Newton is ranked No. 5.

From there, it?s a Satur?day tournament at McPher?son (ranked No. 2 in 4A-Div. 1) with the addition of Goddard, Salina Central, Salina South, Bishop Carroll (No. 6 in 5A), Lyons and Nicker??son.

By the end of the week, Hillsboro will have played nine games in five days compared to 18 games through the first five weeks of the season.

?We?re really going to have to push and grind through it, and it?s going to be tough competition,? coach Sandy Arnold said.

?Hopefully, if things don?t go so well one night, we?ll learn from it and play better the next time, and then practice what need to practice in between.?

Arnold said it?s time for her varsity newcomers to step up.

?We?ve played half our season and they know what it?s like now,? she said. ?It?s time to turn the corner and start playing like they?re a varsity team.

?We?ll see what we?re made of, I can tell you that.?

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