Rising Star: Hillsboro volleyball hungry to redeem runner-up finish from 2021

The Hillsboro HS volleyball team has its sights set on a state championship after last year's runner-up finish.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 9:09 PM CDT
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HILLSBORO, Kan. (KWCH) - With a team full of returners and a big goal in mind, the Hillsboro Trojans volleyball team is back after a trip to the 2A state title game, and they look even better than they did last year. After a loss to Smith Center in the finals, the Trojans did not have to start again from scratch, bringing nine players back from the 2021 team.

“It makes wanting that goal even better because everybody wants it. Everybody knows what it’s like to lose [in the finals,] Hillsboro senior libero Kori Arnold said.

After such a run the Trojans put together last season, it’s easy for this team to be hungry to make it back, Hillsboro head coach Sandy Arnold said.

“It’s definitely a big motivator. I’m not sure everybody thought we would get there last year,” she said. “Once we did and saw what we could do, it was a big confidence booster.”

With their returning core, it’s safe to say Hillsboro doesn’t have a lack of experience - and state tournament experience at that. Coach Arnold said that it didn’t take much motivation from her for her team to be ready to compete for another run at the top.

“They brought it to the table just as much as I did. That’s our end goal. That’s why we’re out here,” she said.

To say that the Trojans have been bought into the goal may be an understatement. The Trojans have a 39-1 record heading into state, and they haven’t even lost a set since early August. The players say if they want to take care of business in the long run, they believe it’s just as important to take care of business each game as well.

“I think that we’ve gone into every game focusing on that one goal and focusing on one set at a time,” said Hillsboro junior Savannah Shahan.

The Trojans will travel to Dodge City this Saturday as the #1 team and try to bring the championship back to Hillsboro.