Advance to sixth consecutive state volleyball tournament
The Hillsboro High School Trojans volleyball team won all of its matches in consecutive sets at the sub-state tournament Saturday in Herington to advance to the 2A state volleyball tournament.
Hillsboro played Berean Academy in the quarterfinals. They won the first set 25-11 without ever trailing the Warriors. The Trojans fell behind 2-0 in the second set before taking a 5-2 lead, eventually winning 25-10.
The Trojans won the semifinals against the host team Railers, 25-6 and 25-10, although Herington trailed only 4-3 early in both sets. Herington won only two service points the entire match.
The first set against Herington included a nine-point service streak by Danae Bina, which included four aces. In the second set, six Trojans hit winners at the net: Emily Jost, Alex Ratzlaff, Shannon Heiser, Addie Lackey, and Lakyn Johnson all scored on spikes, while Taylor Vogt scored on a tip shot.
Hillsboro faced No. 2 seed Remington in the finals with the trip to state on the line. The Broncos were a step above Berean and Herington, leading 6-4 early in the first set and hitting strong serves.
However, the Trojans were better. Bina and the other back-row players kept digging out Remington’s serves and spikes, setting up attacks by the Trojans.
Head coach Sandy Arnold said that the team had drilled specifically on receiving serve and footwork on Friday. Receiving serve and passing to a spot isn’t an easy skill, but she said Ratzlaff and Lackey do it well, and Bradli Nowak has been improving.
“Danae is very good at it,” Arnold said.
The Trojans took the lead at 7-6 in the first set and didn’t trail again. They won the first set 25-15 and built an early 8-0 lead in the second set of the finals. The Broncos were never able to cut Hillsboro’s lead to less than seven points, and the Trojans won 25-14.
Arnold said Maddi Duerksen did a good job setting, squaring up to hitters and putting the ball in the right spots for them. Arnold said that having players in the back row who can attack gives Duerksen more options, and that she has become more comfortable using those options.
The sub-state victory earned the Trojans a place in the 2A state tournament, which will be Friday and Saturday at White Auditorium on Emporia State University’s campus.
Hillsboro is the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Pool play will be on Friday, with the Trojans playing Meade at 3:30 p.m., Jefferson County North at 5:30 p.m., and Mission Valley at 8:30 p.m.
The top two teams from each pool will advance to the semifinals, which will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Admission is $6 for students and $7 for adults.