The Hillsboro High School volleyball team defeated Great Bend but lost to Newton Thursday in Newton.
The Trojans bested the Panthers, 25-18 and 25-21. Hillsboro overcame a two-point deficit, down 16-18, to win the second game. Erin Loewen had scoring spikes from her left-side position on the court to make the game 17-18 and 18-19.
The play that wrapped up the game was on a point making the score 24-21. Maci Schlehuber played a ball that was heading over her shoulder. A Great Bend hit rocketed off a Hillsboro passer and was heading beyond the back line. Schlehuber turned and, on the run, tapped the volleyball with only her left hand to a fellow Trojan who hit the ball over the net. The Trojans scored after the Panther return.
“She got that ball back on the court,” coach Sandy Arnold said. “That was a great save.”
Hillsboro did not have as much luck in its next match against Newton. The Railers defeated the Trojans, 18-25 and 11-25.
Newton employed a quick offensive style. The Railers used low passes that a combination of setters would barely pop up above the net for one of four tall hitters.
“They run a really fast offense,” Arnold said. “We don’t see that very often.”
The Trojans were able to make a comeback in the first game. Facing a deficit of 13-23, Hillsboro scored four consecutive points and added another tally before Newton notched its 25th point.
“I want to compete more,” Arnold said.
This is the second year that the Trojans have faced Great Bend and Newton, who are both 5A schools. The Trojans lost to both teams last year.
At 22-5, Newton was an honorable mention in the Kansas Volleyball Association rankings for 5A.
“It’s great; we see different kinds of volleyball,” Arnold said of facing 5A schools. “I think these matches will help us prepare against other teams.”
Arnold is also hoping to incorporate some quick offensive strategies into the Trojans game plan as the team gains experience.
“I don’t feel like we’re at that point,” Arnold said. “I’m busy trying to give young players an understanding of the game of volleyball.”
Hillsboro is 23-5 on the season. The Trojans have lost to Hesston three times. The Swathers are an honorable mention on KVA’s rankings in 4A. They have also lost to Cheney, which is ranked second in KVA’s rankings for 4A.