With 10 days until their next game, a win on Monday, Sept. 13, would go a long way for the Hillsboro volleyball team in terms of momentum after the break.
Facing off against Father McGivney for the second time in four days, Hillsboro put together a solid effort and cruised past the Griffins in two games, 25-22, 25-14.
The Toppers had beaten the Glen Carbon-based Catholic school during the Montgomery County Invitational, but it had taken three games, 25-15, 22-25, 15-13.
That proved to be no fluke on Monday as the Griffins led by as many as three in the early going. Hillsboro kept it close though and eventually tied the game at 9-9 and took their first game a point later.
Hillsboro would keep that lead until Father McGivney tied the game at 15-15 and wouldn’t give up their advantage until the Griffins took a brief 18-17 lead.
The two teams would trade points over the last few minutes, resulting in five ties before Hillsboro took the lead for good, 23-22, on a tip kill by Kinley Richardson.
With Isabella White serving, Hillsboro got point number 24 on a block by Alayna McCario and Sophia Blankenship, followed by point number 25 on an ace by White that struck the net and trickled over.
Game two had its moments of drama, but not at the start as Hillsboro jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Father McGivney battled back, cutting the lead to 12-9 and forcing Coach Emily Zimmerman to call a quick timeout.
The Toppers answered after the break and broke the Griffins’ serve, with more points following to get the lead back up to six. A staunch defensive effort full of hustle plays in the back and a block party by Blankenship, McCario and Adyson McCammack up front helped Hillsboro continue to expand their lead, which grew to 23-11 at one point.
The two teams would trade the final few points, with Father McGivney getting as close as 10 before McCammack put down one last block for the game-winner.
The Toppers will try to build off the momentum of the win in their next contest on Thursday, Sept. 23, at Vandalia, who finished fourth in the Montgomery County Invitational.
Sept. 13 at Hillsboro
Father McGivney 22 14
Hillsboro 25 25
Record: Hillsboro (4-7).