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Trojans come back from big deficit on senior night

Staff writer

Hillsboro was down 20-10 to Hoisington in the third set of its volleyball match Tuesday when Trojans head coach Sandy Arnold called a timeout.

Hillsboro was against the ropes and Arnold knew it.

In the huddle, Dakota Kaufman, the Trojans’ senior leader and star player broke the team out of its malaise. She emphatically told her team that this was ridiculous and that it was time to play better.

“Sometimes my seniors are too quiet,” Arnold said. “I told them, ‘I’m out of timeouts it’s up to you.’”

The Trojans then rattled off five straight points. The surprised Cardinals called a timeout of their own and were able to gain a few points but the comeback had started. Hillsboro whittled away at the Cardinal advantage and took their first lead of the set at 25-24. They were able to score the final point to win the game shortly after.

The point sealed victory in what was mostly a frustrating night for Hillsboro. Kaufman was stifled most of the night. She was shadowed and blocked several times by Mallory Flagor. The Cardinals were able to catch Hillsboro off guard by playing exceptional defense, keeping balls alive that the Trojans would normally slam to the floor.

Hoisington also served magnificently. The Cardinals were able to back the Trojans up against their own back line and force them out of their normal offense.

Hillsboro fell in the first set 17-25. Senior hitter Taryn Mayfield was able to rally the Trojans to win the second set 25-18.

Early on in the second set, Hillsboro was continuing their languid play. Mayfield then scored two big kills in a row and sparked the Trojans to life. She pumped her fist wildly after her points and high-fived her teammates emphatically.

For the rest of the match, Mayfield was able to replace a lot of the offense of her struggling best friend Kaufman. Whenever the Trojans needed a point, Mayfield was there. Whenever Hillsboro needed a block, Mayfield was there.

“I try to keep the team into it and excited,” she said.

Arnold praised her ability to adapt on the fly. She said that Mayfield had been working on quick hits and slides.

At one point in the match, Arnold told Mayfield that the corners of the court were open. Mayfield was able to deliver strikes to each corner and hit a few balls straight ahead of her on slides, surprising the defense.

Arnold also commended her defense.

“Mayfield really came alive,” she said. “Her blocks were key for us.”

Arnold said that she hasn’t had a win like this in her career and that it was a little nerve racking.

“I had a little heart attack,” she said. “Volleyball is about 99 percent momentum.”

Hillsboro then went on to defeat Haven in straight sets 25-11 and 25-12

Last modified Sept. 30, 2009

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