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Volleyball Tigers bounce back with two wins
They defeat Cashton and Bangor to end regular season
april thornsen
April Thornsen, one of Hillsboros seven seniors, had seven assists Oct. 15 to lead the Tigers to a 3-0 win over the visiting Bangor Cardinals to close the regular season. - photo by Nate Beier photo/Sentry-Enterprise archives

HILLSBORO — The Hillsboro volleyball team celebrated Senior Night in style with a 3–0 victory over visiting Bangor.

The Tigers wrapped up the regular season with a 25–15, 25–6, 25–14 sweep of the Cardinals.

It was also Hillsboro’s Pink night for Breast Cancer Awareness.

“We played a strong match throughout with excellent serving and hitting percentages,” said Hillsboro head coach Mark Sullivan. “We closed sets well and were able to get some younger players some playing time.”

Prior to the match Hillsboro’s seven seniors were recognized: Brittany Borchardt, Alexis Mathis, Gabi Bjornsen, Bailee Cornell, April Thornsen, Mackenzie Sullivan and Tasha Mitchell.

“I would like to give a special thanks to our seniors,” added Sullivan. “They hold a special place in my heart as many of them I have been coaching since they were 11 years old. I will miss them greatly and we don’t know how lucky we were to have them leading our program over the past four years.”

The younger Sullivan posted eight kills and 16 assists to lead Hillsboro’s balanced offense on last Thursday.

Thornsen and Mitchell each had seven assists. Borchardt made a team-high 23 digs and served up four aces.

The Tigers finished the regular season 19–11 overall and finished second in the Scenic Bluffs Conference at 11–3. Royall swept Hillsboro and won the SBC title with a 13–1 record in league play.

Sullivan’s Tigers could earn a rematch with the Panthers (28–5) in Saturday’s WIAA Division 4 regional finals.

First, Hillsboro needs two wins.

The Tigers opened the D4 regional playoffs Tuesday night at home against seventh-seeded Bangor (3–15, 2–12 SBC).

With a win, second-seeded Hillsboro would host either third-seed Cashton or sixth-seed La Farge.

The Tigers defeated Cashton (14–6, 9–5 SBC) last Tuesday, 25–22, 10–25, 25–23, 25–21.

Sullivan had a triple–double of 16 kills, 16 assists and 18 digs. She also had three blocks and two aces.

Mitchell added 12 kills and eight blocks. Sophomore Sydney Johnson had nine kills for the Tigers.

“We played a solid match for the most part,” said Sullivan. “We kept our cool when things weren’t going our way.  I liked our poise under pressure in the final set. We had a good serving night at 94 percent and finished with an excellent hitting percentage at .325. We seemed to be back on track a bit after a tough previous week.”

UPDATE, 10/22: The Tigers defeated Bangor Tuesday night and will continue tournament play tonight at Hillsboro, hosting the Cashton Eagles at 7 p.m.