BOURBON – The Triton Trojans needed a win against Pioneer on Tuesday to keep their hopes for a Hoosier North Athletic Conference championship alive. The Trojans instead lost in straight sets to the Panthers and were forced to watch Pioneer celebrate the conference title on their home floor.

Not much went right for Triton in the 3-0 loss. The Trojans came out of the gate slow in the first match, allowing Pioneer to take a big early advantage. Miscues were prevalent as the team spent kills into its own net or missed digs that saw the ball bounce on the floor.

Pioneer’s Mandee Weisenburger led the attack for the visitors, racking up kills in a hurry. The Panthers offense was fierce from the jump, sending high velocity kills all over the court. For Triton, the team struggled to get on the scoreboard. Four of the team’s first eight points came off of Pioneer serves that fell short into the net.

At the first timeout, Triton trailed 20-13. The home team would go on a small run to shrink the lead to five at 17-22, but was unable to get any further. Pioneer would take set one in a 25-17 wire-to-wire victory.

The Triton faithful would get a more competitive start out of its team in the second set. Triton would tie the game up at 4-4 after going down early and would trail 7-5 just a few points later. Pioneer would go on a four-point run to cause a Triton timeout at 11-5 and didn’t stop there. The visitors would score three more to make the score 14-5 before a kill by Addyson Viers.

The Panthers would go on to win the second set 25-13 and go up 2-0 without having trailed in the match.

The Trojans would take their first and only lead of the match at 3-2 in the third set. It was a much better final set for Triton as the team hung around for much longer than it did in the first two. The five-point lead for Pioneer didn’t come until 15-10.

Late in the set, trailing 18-11, Triton would score four straight to get back into the game. It would not be enough however, as Pioneer would go on to win 25-17 to take the set, match and conference crown.

Triton takes on South Bend Career Academy on Thursday.