After 18 straight matches away from home to start the season the Hillsboro volleyball team finally played in the friendly confines of their own gymnasium last Tuesday night.
The Tigers played host to Bangor for their 2014 home opener and survived a tight five-set match on an off night winning by the scores of 26–24, 25–23, 25–27, 22–25, 15–12.
All five sets were decided by three points or less.
Hillsboro (9–10, 6–1 SBC) held on to win the first two sets by two points each. The Tigers had chances to close out the match in both the third and fourth sets, but the Cardinals rallied to stave off defeat.
But in the decisive fifth set, Hillsboro made just enough plays to pull out a 15–12 match-deciding victory.
Junior Tasha Mitchell slammed 23 kills to go along with two blocks.
Fellow junior Mackenzie Sullivan posted 14 kills, 32 digs, 25 assists and three aces while freshman setter Courtney Fanta added 17 assists, 23 digs and a team-high six aces.
Freshman Sydney Johnson, who was recently promoted to varsity prior to the Holmen Invitational two weekends ago, floored nine kills.
Junior libero Brittany Borchardt led the team with 61 digs and 62 service receptions.
“This was a tough match for us,” said Hillsboro head coach Mark Sullivan. “We just never seemed to have a positive attitude throughout the match. We lacked emotion and mental toughness at times but were able to make enough plays down the stretch to get the win. We will get right back to work in practice and learn to come out with enthusiasm and be aggressive consistently in order to be successful.”
Hillsboro had a week off between matches before hosted Necedah this past Tuesday night. The Tigers will next host New Lisbon on Thursday, before traveling to Reedsburg for a tournament Saturday morning.