Jets sweep Cougars in sectional opener

HOPE — The way Sydney Schoen sees it, if the opposing team returns her serve, her Hauser teammates will still win the point.

Schoen didn’t have to worry about that much in Tuesday night’s Hauser Sectional opener. She served the Jets to a 6-0 lead to begin the match and served 11 consecutive points late in the third set to help Hauser finish off a 25-5, 25-14, 25-13 win against South Decatur.

“I think a strong serve is important, but I trust my team,” Schoen said. “If I serve one in the net, I know my team will pick me back up.”

The Jets (32-1), ranked No. 9 in Class A, advance to Saturday’s 11 a.m. semifinal against Jac-Cen-Del. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Schoen led Hauser six with aces to go along with her five kills, 11 assists, one block and eight digs.

“I had to make sure I stayed focused,” Schoen said. “My team does a good job of keeping me focused and keeping me pumped up.”

The Jets also used a big game from Brea Metz, who had sprained an ankle in their regular-season finale at Greensburg. Metz led Hauser with 10 kills and added a block.

“We played awesome,” Metz said. “We played as a team. We definitely came out with high intensity and basically played the game that we know we can play.”

Danielle Giles served six consecutive points, and Sarah Tedder served the final seven points in the first set, which ended with a kill by Maranda Knight. The Jets then missed seven serves in the second set, which ended on a Taylor Henderson kill.

“I thought we played pretty good besides that,” Hauser coach Jeff Case said. “We lost our focus on serves.”

The Jets led only 10-7 in the third set when they regained serve, and Schoen rattled off 11 consecutive points. They led 23-8 before the Cougars’ Braelyn Evans served five in a row. Hauser then regained serve, and Henderson ended the second straight game with a kill.

“I think they were a bit intimidated coming out against the (ninth) ranked team,” South Decatur coach Genna Miller said. “They were able to work off some of those jitters. At the end, they started playing scrappy, they started trying to read the ball a little bit better and did some good things.”

Alana Owen recorded 15 assists, Knight had four blocks and Giles and Sarah Tedder each notched nine digs for the Jets, who won their 14th match in a row. Knight pounded eight kills, Tedder served four aces and Lucie Lortz added two aces.

Delanie Diekhoff recorded two kills and a block, Brooke Helms had three assists and five digs and Evans notched a block and an ace to lead the Cougars (9-24). Anekah Bower contributed five digs, and Morgan Eden added four digs and an ace.

South Decatur had won two in a row to close the regular season.

“We started the season actually really strong,” Miller said. “Then, we lost some girls due to injuries and kind of stalled in the middle of the season. Here at the end, they were starting to play together more. The girls were getting a little more accustomed to playing different positions, and we started to win a little bit.”

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.