Jennings County learned one valuable lesson in Tuesday night’s season-opening volleyball match against Class A No. 6 Hauser — when the Jets get hot, they will stay hot.
The Panthers had no answer for Hauser’s offensive attack as the Jets cruised in straight sets 25-18, 25-15, 25-17.
Hauser coach Jeff Case was pleased with the effort.
“It was really important to get off to a good start because it will set the tone for the season,” Case said. “A couple miscues here and there, but that is expected being this early in the season. Overall, they hustled and made great plays.”
For Jennings coach Susan Kinney, it was a completely different team that showed up than in practice.
“We just were not ready to play tonight,” Kinney said. “There was no talking or communication out there. We have a lot of work to do and be ready to play New Albany on Saturday.”
The biggest change that occurred for the Jets this offseason was Case finding a new libero. For the past four years, Case relied on Danielle Giles at the position. This season, Case is turning to Sarah Tedder to quickly step into the role. The results are so far so good.
“That was my biggest concern heading into this season, and Sarah did a terrific job,” Case said. “We lost three seniors last year, and ball control was a big concern, especially when losing someone like Danielle. Sarah came out and played well and did great.”
Tedder said she is ready to take on the role.
“I was fine wherever coach needed me to play, but I really looked forward to it, and I enjoy being back there,” Tedder said. “I have a lot more pressure on me because I need to control the ball and talking to the other girls and help them out.”
Jennings came out strong in the first set and opened a 7-4 lead, but the service games of Alana Owen and Brea Metz helped the Jets outscore the Panthers 9-1 to go ahead 13-8. Metz finished off the set with an ace.
Metz opened things up for Hauser in the second set, adding a couple of kills to put it ahead 6-4. Later on in the set, Sydney Schoen and Owen added aces to allow the Jets to pull ahead 22-12.
In the third set, Tedder made some great plays to extend a couple rallies, including one where she bumped into some chairs on the Jets bench to keep the play alive.
“We all click together, so we all know what we are thinking and what we are doing,” Tedder said. “We made some great passes when we needed to.”
Metz finished with 19 kills, two blocks, and four aces. Owen had 31 assists and five aces. Schoen had 14 digs and five kills. Tannyr Davis added three blocks.
For the Panthers, Carissa Kinney finished with 12 assists and six kills. Kayla Wilson had four kills, and Emma McPeek had two blocks.