The Hillsboro junior varsity volleyball squad has split a pair of matches to open the season. On Monday, the Hawks won at North County, 25-10, 25-11. But on Tuesday, HHS fell at Northwest, 17-25, 13-25.
The team has six returning JV athletes this season in Reese Buettner, Sidney Buettner, Sofia Fischer, Morgan Rauls, Phoenix Dean, and Gabby Thornhill. The squad welcomed Kayla VanHorn, Maddie O’Neail, Lauren Pingel, and Ally Hilton to the team in 2020.
Against North County, Reese Buettner and Rauls were tough at the net, leading the team in kills. Thornhill had a nice night on the back row, while Dean had a long run serving in the first set to give Hillsboro a lot of momentum.
“For the first night of play, and after a weird summer with Covid, I was very pleased with the way the first game went,” Coach Allison Erickson noted. “Our coverage was spot on, and our serve receive has already shown improvement since the first day of practice. We showed a lot of consistency throughout the whole match. All of the players were able to touch the floor and get more experience, which is going to help us down the road.”
Reese Buettner said playing in front of a small crowd was strange. “I think we played well, but we were kind of quiet since there were not a lot of people in the stands because of Covid.” Thornhill agreed. “I felt like the team played good. I feel like we should talk a lot more with each other, but I was most happy about covering and helping each other for our first game together. And as usual, there’s always more work to do. “We all have some adjusting to do and stuff to fix,” said Rauls. “But for our first game, I think we did good.”
“Our communication will get better, and the teamwork will keep falling into place,” Coach Erickson pointed out. “I can’t wait to see where we end at the end of the season.”
The next day, it was a different story as the Hawks fell to the Lions. Thornhill led the team in aces, Dean led in kills, while Buettner was top is digs.
“Northwest was a really good team, “Coach Erickson explained. “They had hard serves, a big block, and a strong offense. Our passes are what hurt us. We weren’t able to swing at them to try and take away some of their power. Our setters were all over the place and did the best they could, but we just couldn’t keep up at this time of the year. But we will get there.”
Hillsboro will host Farmington on Tuesday in the home opener. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m.