Trojans win 2nd tourney

Maddi Duerksen (2) and Shannon Heiser (27) defend against a hit by Southeast of Saline?s Lindsay Poague on the front row while Bradli Nowak backs them up during the championship match of the SES tournament. Hillsboro, ranked No. 1 Class 3A, defeated the No. 4 ranked host school to claim the title Saturday.The Hills?boro volleyball team made the most of its debut at the South?east of Saline Invita?tional Saturday, claiming a 5-0 record and a second tournament title of the young season.

Coach Sandy Arnold said the Trojans signed on with the tournament to face some teams they normally don?t see during the season, includ?ing some larger schools with an expectation of tougher competition.

But the Trojans? closest set all day was a 25-21 win against Southeast of Saline in the tournament finals. Hillsboro then won the title by a 25-17 margin in this rematch of Trojan teams that met in the Class 3A semifinals last season.

Hillsboro, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by the Kansas Vol?leyball Association, reached bracket play by first defeating Class 5A Salina South (25-14, 25-9), 3A Sacred Heart (25-13, 25-15) and 4A Concor?dia (25-17, 25-12) in pool play.

Arnold said even though the pool competition didn?t quite measure up to her expectations, neither did her team?s play in the first two matches.?

?There were a couple of pool matches I wasn?t totally thrilled with, but sometimes you play to your competition,? she said. ?But for the most part, we did a good job.?

In the semifinals, Hills?boro throttled a hard-hitting 4A Abilene team (25-14, 25-15).

?The score may not have showed it against Abilene, but they were definitely a better team than the ones we played in pool play,? Arnold said.

?I was pleased with the fact that we took Abilene, and somewhat Southeast, out of their game and didn?t let them use their talent to hit as much as they maybe would have liked to.?

Southeast, who came in undefeated and ranked No. 4 in 3A, bolstered its squad this season with the addition of sophomore transfer Erica Montgomery as an outside hitter.

?I was impressed with her,? Arnold said. ?She hurt us as much as anybody. She?s the reason we had to change up our defense a little bit to pick her up. If it wasn?t for our serving and our constant attacking, she might have hurt us even more.?

Douglass?Following a 10-day break from competition following their Central Kan?sas League preseason tournament championship, the Trojans returned to action last Tuesday with a pair of wins in a double-dual at Douglass.

Hillsboro handled the host school, 25-12, 25-16, then defeated Hesston for the second time in the young season, 25-19, 25-22.

?At first I was not excited about the week off, but when we had some aches and injuries (at the tournament), I was really glad to have the time to heal,? coach Sandy Arnold said. ?We also learned a lot about the team, so that gave us lots to work on in practice.?

The rematch with Hess?ton developed into another close fight between rivals, but this time the Trojans claimed the win in two sets instead of three.

?Hesston is a battle and will continue to be a battle every time we play them,? Arnold said. ?We made a few adjustments based on what worked at the tournament and what didn?t and after watching film.

?They are a very talented team, so we will always have to be prepared and play at our best.?

Coming?Hillsboro (12-0) was to begin league play Tuesday at Haven, where they were also to face non-league foe Cheney, ranked No. 3 in Class 3A.

?Cheney will be tough,? Arnold said. ?We?ll find out what we?re made of on Tuesday. We?ll find out where we really, truly are.?

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