The Hillsboro High School Trojans won another volleyball tournament without losing a set Saturday, sweeping the Trojan Invitational at home.
In pool play, the Trojans defeated Augusta, 25-14 and 25-8; Sunrise Christian Academy, 25-8 and 25-12; and Sterling, 25-12 and 25-13. They advanced to play Circle in the semifinals.
Circle took the lead at 1-0, but Emily Jost tied the set on a tip and Circle never led again. The set was tied as late as 4-4 before Hillsboro opened it up with a spike by Shannon Heiser, an ace by Alex Ratzlaff, and back-to-back spikes by Addie Lackey. Hillsboro’s biggest lead of the set came at 23-14. Circle made a brief rally, but Hillsboro won the set 25-18.
The second set was also close early, with Circle leading 3-2 before Hillsboro started to pull away. During a service streak by Danae Bina, Ratzlaff scored on a spike after getting a pancake to keep a point alive. During the same streak, Ratzlaff scored on another spike to end a long point that included difficult saves by both teams. Circle closed the gap to 11-8 before Hillsboro went on a 10-2 run to lead 21-10. Circle tried to rally, but Hillsboro was able to hold on, finishing on a block by Ratzlaff and Heiser, winning 25-19.
Rock Creek was Hillsboro’s opponent in the championship match. The first set was a back-and-forth affair, tied as late as 7-7. The Trojans eventually created a seven-point lead, thanks in part to the blocking tandem of Heiser and Lakyn Johnson. Rock Creek trimmed the Trojans’ lead to three at 22-19, but Hillsboro finished the set 25-20 with a spike by Lackey and two by Ratzlaff, including one after a tough dig by Bradli Nowak.
The second set was even closer, with Rock Creek holding a lead as late as 9-8, although Rock Creek never led by more than two points. But Hillsboro came back to take the lead at 10-9, and the Trojans never relinquished the lead. The Trojans pushed their lead to 24-16 before winning 25-19 on a spike by Lackey.
Head coach Sandy Arnold said she was pleased with how the team served.
“I don’t think we missed as many today,” she said.
Arnold said it is deceptively difficult to put a serve in a specific spot, not just getting it over the net and putting it in play. It’s doubly challenging with so many Trojans using the difficult jump serve.
“For the most part, they’re putting it in the right spot,” Arnold said.
The Trojans played at Trinity Catholic in Hutchinson, defeating Trinity, 25-17, 21-25, and 25-9 and Sedgwick, 27-25 and 25-8.
Hillsboro will play in the 2A sub-state tournament at Herington. Other teams in the tournament will be Canton-Galva, Chase County, Berean Academy, Herington, Peabody-Burns, Rural Vista, Solomon, and Remington.