Hillsboro’s volleyball season ended a week too soon Saturday, when it couldn’t overcome 37-0 Central Plains, falling 1-2 in the substate championship match at Moundridge.
The Trojans got off to a sluggish start in their opening match against Berean Academy, 6-25 on the season.
The Warriors led 6-2 in the first set before the Trojans got rolling. A 7-point surge sparked by Alex Ratzlaff’s serving put Hillsboro ahead 14-8, and the Trojans won 25-15.
In the second set Berean Academy tenaciously matched Hillsboro point-for-point to a tie at 13. The Trojans went on a 12-3 run to win 25-15 and move to the next round.
Canton-Galva, 20-14, looked to be a much stronger foe, but the Trojans won the match in two sets, 25-15, 25-17.
Standing in the way of a trip to the state tournament was the No. 1 seed and top-ranked 2A team Central Plains.
After losing the opening set 25-17, everything came together perfectly for the Trojans in the second.
Needing a win to extend the match, the Trojans dominated the Oilers 25-14, tying the match at one set each. Callie Linnens and Abby Sechrist nearly shut down the Oilers’ hitters, while Hillsboro strikers Ratzlaff and Shannon Heiser converted winners off of well-set balls from Rebecca Kaufman. It seemed as if every Trojans player dived to save returns and points.
The Trojans appeared loose and confident as they took the court for the final set, but as quickly as they had come together, they unraveled. The Oilers reasserted themselves with standout play by senior hitter Taylor Rolfs, quickly establishing a 10-point lead that the Trojans never seriously threatened. The Ollers won the set 25-13 to earn a berth in the state tournament.
Hillsboro finished the season with a record of 27-13.