The Hillsboro High School girls’ volleyball team defeated Sterling on Saturday to win the Central Kansas League preseason volleyball tournament in Hesston.
The Trojans opened pool play with a tough 26-24 and 25-20 match win over Kingman, then breezed past Lyons in two games, 25-14 and 25-8.
Hillsboro matched up against Smoky Valley in the quarterfinals, and after being tested in a 25-20 win the Trojans turned it up in the second game, winning 25-9.
They were pushed in both the semifinals and finals, dropping games to Pratt and Sterling, but winning both matches 2-1.
Head coach Sandy Arnold said the team’s performance suffered from not having her rotation set early enough for them to log practice time together.
“At the beginning of the year you’re trying to get skills down, trying to figure out who is going to play,” Arnold said. “We hadn’t been through our rotation enough. We were making some adjustments out there we haven’t even worked on. It’s not that they didn’t know what I was talking about, we just haven’t done it.”
“There are a lot of girls that were on junior varsity that have come up, and we’re not used to it,” senior Lakyn Johnson said. “When we get down it really affects us.”
Arnold said the inconsistencies the team showed were expected in the opening tournament, but not all were from lack of familiarity.
“I’ll take the blame for some of that, but on the other hand, there comes a point when the desire and motivation has to come from them,” Arnold said.
“We just weren’t thinking smart and playing together as a team. It was mostly our mistakes that we could have easily changed.”
Arnold was glad to get back onto the court, and expects to see steady improvement as she settles into a consistent rotation of players.
“I’m glad we had a chance to get the cobwebs out,” Arnold said. “We are going to have to work on jelling. It takes a while to trust who’s beside you, who’s behind you.”