Jets come up short against Saints in regional

INDIANAPOLIS — A record-setting volleyball season came to an abrupt end Tuesday night in front of an ear-splitting crowd at Indianapolis Lutheran.

Hauser, which won a school-record 34 matches this year, got closer in each set but couldn’t get over the proverbial hump in a 25-15, 25-19, 25-21 regional loss to the Class A No. 3 Saints.

“We didn’t have the ball control we needed all night,” Hauser coach Jeff Case said. “Hitting was off a little bit. Serve-receive was off. We just didn’t have our ‘A’ game tonight.”

The Class A No. 9 Jets (34-2) led in each set. They were up 6-5 in the first set and 7-4 and 8-7 in the second set.

Hauser actually led most of the third set, the last time at 21-20. But Lutheran (25-10) scored the final five points to put it away.

“We took them out of serve-receive, which was our focus tonight, just because they have some good hitters,” Lutheran coach Kathy Anderson said. “That was our goal — to take them out of their offense, and I think that we were able to do that successfully.”

Brea Metz pounded 13 kills, Sydney Schoen recorded 11 assists and Danielle Giles had 16 digs for the Jets. Schoen, Giles and Maranda Knight all served one aces.

Also for Hauser, Knight notched five kills, and Schoen added two kills and 10 digs. Alana Owen contributed nine assists and six digs, and Giles had an assist.

Giles played a day after being involved in a car accident on the way to school. Case praised the play of the senior libero, who still had an 80 percent passing rate.

The Jets had trouble with the Saints’ 6-foot-1 middle hitter, Whitney Hoover. Case called Lutheran one of the two best teams Hauser played this season, along with Lawrenceburg, which handed the Jets their only other loss this season.

“It wasn’t about them,” Case said. “We just made too many unforced errors. They eliminated unforced errors, and we didn’t.”

Hauser and Lutheran have met in the regional each of the past four years. The teams have split those matches, with the home team winning each time.

Last year, the Jets made it to the semistate finals, their first-ever trip to the final four in Class A. They followed their best postseason with their best regular season and a sixth consecutive sectional title.

But that didn’t make Tuesday’s loss any easier, especially for seniors Giles, Knight and Lucie Lortz.

“They’re upset now, but they’ll be able to look back at this and enjoy the season for what it was,” Case said. “They worked hard together. We just didn’t have it here in this game.”

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