The Hillsboro High School volleyball team defeated Cherokee Southeast, 25-23 and 25-21, but lost to Effingham-Atchison County, 16-25 and 16-25, and Osage City, 18-25 and 14-25, Friday at the 3A state tournament in Salina.
Hillsboro managed to put together an 8-3 lead over Cherokee in the first game with a six-hit serving streak by Allie Faul, including an ace. The opposing Trojans eventually shrunk the Hillsboro lead to 15-13, but the Trojans struck back with a four-serve streak by Danae Bina, and a scoring block and tip by Faul to push the score to 21-15.
Cherokee brought the score within a point twice while Hillsboro battled for the final point, at 23-22 and 24-23. Krista Reimer had a scoring hit to give the Trojans 24 points and Danae Bina ended the game with an ace.
The Trojans started the second game in a 1-4 hole but a three-serve streak by Faul, with an ace, and a punishing strike by Tena Loewen brought the Trojans back to 4-5. Hillsboro took the lead for the first time, 9-8, on an Addie Lackey smash. The score stayed within a point, including ties at 15, 17, and 19. The Trojans stretched the lead to 24-21 with a scoring hit by Hayley Jirak, two unforced errors on Cherokee, and a Loewen tip she adjusted to in the air to press just beyond the opposing Trojan defenders.
Reimer ended the match with a powerful strike she slammed past two Cherokee defenders that landed in right hand corner of the court.
The Trojans opened the match against Effingham with an early lead 5-2. Jirak built a serving streak of three including an ace and Loewen had three scoring hits. The athleticism of the Effingham front line became apparent as Brooklyn Otte crushed a spike and Tara Ellerman blocked a Loewen hit. The Tigers tied the score at 6-6 and then jumped to a 6-9 lead. The Tigers built a lead of 11-19, before eventually winning the game 16-25.
Otte is 6 feet tall, Ellerman is 5-foot-11, and Korie Thompson is 5-foot-10. The height of the Effingham front line players allowed them to block Loewen spikes that scored during the Trojans substate run. Otte also scored on two low, quick sets; the Trojans had not faced a quick hitting team since playing Newton Oct. 7.
The Trojans got the score within two points in second game at 10-12 and 14-12. The Trojans employed a passing lineup of Sammy Koons, Callie Serene, Bina, Faul, Jirak, and Loewen that was an effective defense. However, the Tigers stormed back to score eight consecutive points; the streak was eventually stopped by a Tigers unforced error. The Trojans scored three more points — a set tip by Faul, a scoring tip by Reimer, and a hit that sailed out of bounds by Otte — but the Tigers held on to win 16-25.
Osage City used two athletic 6-footers to befuddle the Trojans. Carly Spicer was a menace at the net for the Trojans. She scored on nine crushing hits for the Spartans and aided with blocks. Taylor Kimball was also a key hitter against Hillsboro.
The Trojans tied the score at 5-5 and were within one at 10-11, but the Spartans went on a 7-1 scoring run. Kimball scored the last hit to give the Spartans an 18-25 victory in the first game.
While Hillsboro never lead in the first game, the Trojans earned an 8-7 advantage on two Reimer spikes, a Loewen hit, and a Spartan unforced error. The Trojans expanded the lead to 13-11 after a Loewen spike and a four-hit possession by the Spartans.
The Spartans then scored nine consecutive points, including two blocks and two hits by Spicer. Spicer spiked the ball long to stop the streak, but Hillsboro would not score another point with Osage City rattling off five more points for a 14-25 victory.
Although Osage City and Effingham faced each other in pool play later on Friday, they met again in the championship match. Osage won the state title, 25-20 and 25-23.
Although they are losing Jirak and Faul to graduation, 10 Trojans should return for the 2011 season.