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Lady Trojan spikers' pushfor 3A title ends in pool play

HHS wins one match at tournament

Sports writer

With the eight best volleyball teams in 3A all competing for one title, it was mandatory Friday the Hillsboro High School Lady Trojans bring their A-game to Salina’s Bicentennial Center.

Unfortunately, for coach Sandy Arnold and the Trojans, the competition was much tougher than any Hillsboro had faced all season.

Competing for its first state title in 21 years, Hillsboro had its fits with butterflies with the Trojans’ bid for a title, ending with a 1-2 finish in pool play.

The Trojans closed out a spectacular season with a 27-12 finish.

The seventh-seeded Trojans couldn’t have drawn a much tougher opponent Friday than having to tackle the eventual state champion and No. 2 seed Garden Plain Lady Owls in their first match of the day.

Hillsboro’s chances at a title became slim with the Owls downing the Trojans in two games, 25-13, and 25-17.

The Trojans never seemed to find their game that had carried them to Salina, and then it was too late.

Needing a win to have any hopes at all, Hillsboro had to defeat No. 3 Rock Creek to stay alive.

The Trojans only appeared themselves in the opening match, knocking off the Lady Mustangs, 27-25.

However, Rock Creek bounced back to steal the next two games by respective 25-13 and 25-19 scores.

With only pride left to play for, the Trojans polished off No. 6 Frontenac in the nightcap, 25-18 and 25-22.

On the brighter side for the Trojans, their two losses were to the state champion Owls and the runner-up Mustangs.

Rock Creek topped the Owls in pool play, and knocked out the Jefferson North Lady Chargers in the semifinals while Garden Plain eliminated Phillipsburg.

Garden Plain avenged its only loss, dispatching of the Mustangs, 25-21, and 27-25.

Friday marked the ending of strong careers for the Trojans’ senior quartet of Jet Skiles, Kassidi Luthi, Tiffany Rooker, and Cassie Kroeker.

However, with sensational junior standout Dakota Kaufman as well as a number of good players returning next season, the door to Salina could remain open for Arnold and the 2009 Trojans.

Last modified Nov. 5, 2008

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