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Young Tigers go 12 last week in SBC action
Freshman Molly Crandall steps in to take a pass during last week's game with Brookwood in Cashton. The Falcons upended the Tigers 3-2.

CASHTON — The Hillsboro volleyball team lost a pair of conference matches last Tuesday at the Cashton quadrangular then bounced back to defeat Necedah in five sets Thursday.

Junior Sydney Johnson slammed a season-high 18 kills and had a team-best seven blocks, but it wasn’t quite enough in five-set loss to league-leading Brookwood.

The Falcons (8–3, 5–0 SBC) battled back form an opening set loss to pull out the victory 23–25, 25–22, 25–22, 19–25, 15–12.

“We played fairly well early, but they made more plays than us down the stretch,” said Hillsboro head coach Mark Sullivan. “We had trouble with digging the tip kills in the middle.  It was a frustrating match as I thought we played well enough to win much of the night, but 11 service errors and hitting only .128 does not add up to a win very often.”
The Tigers ended Tuesday with a straight-sets loss to co-league-leading Cashton 25–15, 25–8, 25–18.

“We lost one of our starting setters, Allison Mitchell, to injury prior to this match,” said Sullivan. “ Cashton played a very aggressive and solid match seemingly digging everything we threw at them.  They look like they will be very tough to beat and will likely be battling for the conference championship by the end of the year.”

Freshman Molly Crandall had nine kills and 10 digs to lead Hillsboro in the loss.

Thursday night Hillsboro narrowly defeated Necedah 17–25, 25–16, 25–22, 28–30, 17–15 at home.

“I thought we had this match in hand during the fourth set when we were up 20–6,” said Sullivan. “I started to substitute the bench players and we simply lost our rhythm and weren’t able to finish the set losing 28–30.
“I was proud of the girls in the fifth set as they were able to put that behind them and play and strong set to close it out.  I feel this is a step forward in our mental toughness as I don’t think we would have recovered from that fourth set loss earlier in the year. I am proud of their effort.”

Johnson had 11 kills to lead the Tigers and Jessica Mitchell added nine kills and six blocks. Brookelyn Borchardt passed out 15 assists and freshman Sierra Johnson had nine assists in her first varsity action, filling in for the injured Allison Mitchell.

“I am also happy with how the girls handled yet another rotation  change as we were without Allison Mitchell and brought up freshman setter Sierra Johnson to start,” said Sullivan. “She did a great job for her first varsity experience.  At times we had three freshman, two sophomores and a junior on the floor so our young team is earning its stripes.”

Hillsboro (7–10, 2–3 SBC) traveled to Brookwood on Tuesday for a rematch with the Falcons. They will now travel to Wonewoc–Center tonight before hosting Bangor on Tuesday.

Brookwood 3, Hillsboro 2
(from Tuesday, Sept. 13 @ Cashton)
Brookwood    23    25    25    19    15
Hillboro         25    22    22    25    12
Hillsboro Individual Stat Leaders
Kills: Sydney Johnson 18, Jessica Mitchell 11, Molly Crandall 7. Blocks: Johnson 7, Crandall 2, Shelby Levy 2. Assists: Brookelyn Borchardt 18, Allison Mitchell 17. Aces: Crandall 4, Johnson 3, Borchardt 3. Digs: Courtney Fanta 26, J. Mitchell 12, A. Mitchell 10.

Cashton 3, Hillsboro 0
(from Tuesday, Sept. 13 @ Cashton)
Hillsboro            15    8    18
Cashton              25    25    25
Hillsboro Individual Stat Leaders
Kills: Molly Crandall 9, Jessica Mitchell 3, Abby Nemec 2, Shelby Levy 2. Blocks: Cheyenne Hanke 3, Johnson 2, J. Mitchell 2. Assists: Allison Mitchell 6, Brookelyn Borchardt 4. Aces: Crandall 1, Hanke 1, A. Mitchell 1. Digs: Courtney Fanta 16, Crandall 10, Borchardt 8.

Hillsboro 3, Necedah 2
(from Thursday, Sept. 15 @ Hillsboro)

Necedah    25    16    22    30    17
Hillboro    17    25    25    28    15
Hillsboro Individual Stat Leaders
Kills: Sydney Johnson 11, Jessica Mitchell 9, Molly Crandall 7. Blocks: J. Mitchell 6, Johnson 6, Abby Nemec 5. Assists: Brookelyn Borchardt 15, Sierra Johnson 9. Aces: Courtney Fanta 5, Johnson 4, J. Mitchell 3. Digs: Courtney Fanta 36, Molly Crandall 15, J. Mitchell 12.