BANGOR — The Hillsboro varsity volleyball team is in a funk.
The Tigers lost back-to-back Scenic Bluffs Conference matches last week to close out the season and have now lost four straight matches entering the playoffs.
Last Tuesday Hillsboro dropped the final two sets of a five-set match to fall to host Bangor, 23–25, 25–23, 17–25, 25–16, 15–12.
Two nights later the Tigers were swept by SBC champion Royall, 25–13, 25–16, 25–21 to close out the regular season.
Hillsboro finished the regular season 14–17 overall and 9–5 in the SBC after a 9–1 start in conference play.
The Tigers still finished second in the league and earned the number two seed in the WIAA Division 4 Royall regional.
Hillsboro opened the playoffs Tuesday night at home against seven-seed Kickapoo. With a win the Tigers will return to action tonight at home against either three-seed Cashton or six-seed La Farge.
In last Tuesday’s loss at Bangor junior Mackenzie Sullivan led the Tigers in defeat with 16, ills, 23 assists, 20 digs, three blocks and three aces.
“That was a frustrating match as both teams went on runs of being good and being down a bit,” said Hillsboro head coach Mark Sullivan. “It was close at the end, but we were unable to come up with the couple extra plays needed to secure the win.”
Junior Tasha Mitchell led the Tigers with eight kills and three blocks in Thursday’s loss to Royall.
“Dominant performance by Royall,” said Sullivan. “We were unable to string together any runs of points as they were able to handle our serves and attacks well, and put the ball away when they got the chance. They played like the conference champions they are.
“We need to recover from the past couple weeks and learn from it to prepare for the new playoff season.”