The Hillsboro High School volleyball team placed third in their home tournament Saturday in Hillsboro.
The Trojans defeated Minneapolis, 25-16 and 25-18, in the third place match. It was their second win against the Lions on the day. Hillsboro also defeated Minneapolis, 25-13 and 25-9, in pool play.
The Trojans were undefeated in pool play besting Conway Springs, 25-18 and 25-9, and Sterling, 25-11 and 25-20.
However, in a day filled with victories, a loss to Circle in the semifinals scarred the Hillsboro effort.
“Third place is better than fourth and 4-1 is better than 1-4,” head coach Sandy Arnold said. “I’m disappointed. No. 1 — I think we could have beaten Circle. No. 2 — I wanted to play Pratt again.”
Pratt similarly dominated their end of the tournament pool. They defeated Circle to take the tournament title. Arnold said she thought the Trojans were looking ahead to that potential opponent, a team responsible for two of the Trojans, then, five losses.
“You have to beat the team in front of you,” Arnold said.
In the Hillsboro-Circle match, Circle went on a 12-4 run, after a tie at 13, to defeat the Trojans in game one. The Thunderbirds were led by versatile 5-foot-8 hitter Aimi Orton. An effective hitter, she also helped with setting and passing duties.
The Thunderbirds they did not feature a single player over 5-foot-8.
“Their attacking or blocking wasn’t really killing us,” Arnold said.
In the second game, the Trojans seemed to right the ship. Danae Bina started the game with a six-serve streak, with three aces, which gave Hillsboro an 8-1 lead. Tena Loewen added a five-serve streak with two aces to give Hillsboro a 15-3 lead and the Trojans cruised to a 25-12 win.
Circle started the third game serving long and opened up a 12-5 lead. Hillsboro passing errors enabled Circle to win the third game, 25-14.
“We didn’t move our feet, period,” Arnold said.
A continual complaint from the Hillsboro coach, Arnold was not pleased with her team’s intensity during the match with Circle.
“It’s just a mental part of it,” Arnold said. “You’ve got to pick it up.”
Always consistent, Loewen played well. She recorded a serving streak of seven, with five aces against Conway, and put together two six-serve runs, with two aces each, against Sterling. She piled up kills throughout the five-match day, hitting the ball fiercely down the line on multiple occasions, as Arnold had instructed.
Another bright spot for Hillsboro was the continued improvement and solid play from senior hitter Krista Reimer. Reimer notched several kills and blocks throughout the day and made her presence felt at the net.
“She hit the ball well,” Arnold said.
Hillsboro, 29-6, will travel to Marion Saturday for the regional tournament.