The Hillsboro High School Trojans volleyball team won the Canton-Galva Invitational on Saturday in Goessel, going 5-0 without losing a set.
The Trojans began the day by defeating Canton-Galva, 25-14 and 25-10. During a service streak in the second set by Alex Ratzlaff, the Eagles couldn’t even return her serves. The streak only ended when Ratzlaff mishit a serve.
They then defeated Central Christian of Hutchinson, 25-11 and 25-8, and Halstead, 25-13 and 25-9, to finish pool play.
In the semifinals, Hillsboro defeated Sunrise Christian Academy of Wichita, 25-13 and 25-9, to set up a rematch with Halstead in the finals.
The Trojans got out to a 15-6 lead in the first set of the finals, but Halstead bounced back. The Dragons went on a 13-2 run to cut Hillsboro’s lead to 2 at 21-19, prompting Hillsboro to take a timeout.
“‘That was a complete lack of focus and a complete lack of effort,’ that’s what I told them,” head coach Sandy Arnold said.
After the timeout, Hillsboro pushed the lead back to 5, 24-19, but Halstead made another brief run to 24-22 before Hillsboro closed the set, 25-22.
The beginning of the second set looked like it could be as competitive as the first set became. The set was tied at two before Hillsboro went on a run to push the lead to 9-2. Another streak increased Hillsboro’s lead to 19-4. At 24-6, Halstead fended off a couple of points before the Trojans won, 25-8.
Hillsboro won its five matches by a combined score of 250-122, even with senior setter Maddi Duerksen out of action. Shelley Arnold and Julie Sinclair, both juniors, filled the void for Hillsboro.
“I thought they did a fine job,” Arnold said.
She said both juniors handled what could have been an intimidating situation well. Both players do all of the same drills with the varsity that Duerksen does, so Arnold expected she could depend on them.
“They both have really good hands,” she said.
On many points, Ratzlaff and Shannon Heiser blocked at the net solo and held their own. Arnold said solo blocking, when players are capable of it, gives the defense behind the blocker more options.
“Our blocking as a whole was better today, much better,” Arnold said.
Tuesday at Hesston
The Trojans defeated Sterling, 25-8 and 25-18, and Hesston, 25-11, 23-25, and 25-22, Tuesday at Hesston to remain undefeated.