HOPE — With Hauser breezing by the first set, it looked like it was going to be an easy rout for the Jets in Tuesday night’s regional volleyball contest.
But Greenwood Christian Academy was making a serious charge.
The Class A No. 4 Jets faced their toughest test this postseason and withstood the pressure that the Cougars gave them to win 25-14, 24-26, 25-19, 25-18.
Hauser moves on to Saturday’s Loogootee Semistate to face Indianapolis Tindley. This is the Jets’ second semistate berth in three seasons after making the semistate finals in 2014.
“We knew that they were a huge defensive team,” said Hauser senior Brea Metz, who finished with 19 kills, four blocks, and three aces. “After the second set, we just knew we had to kick it into high gear and get the ball moving.”
One thing that was inconsistent with Metz all year was her serving. On Tuesday, her serving was near perfect.
“My serving is always all over the place, but today my serve needed to be 80 percent at least,” Metz said. “I stayed down more, and it helped us get more points.”
Metz, along with fellow seniors Hailey Lange and Shelbey Zachariah, will have one last run at trying to make it to state.
“It’s great to have the feeling of going to semistate again,” Lange said. “We know all of our fans are going to be there and supporting us. Doing it with my two (senior) teammates is awesome just because we have been so close over the years and it is going to be fun.”
Hauser junior Sydney Schoen, who finished with 27 digs, four aces and three blocks, said the team came together when the Cougars started gaining the momentum.
“We were out of rhythm just a little bit, but we started working together and playing together to get this win,” Schoen said. “It’s feels great to go back. I experienced it once as a freshman, and going back again is an awesome feeling knowing a lot of our hard work has paid off and it’s great seeing everything coming together.”
In the second set, the Jets had an 18-9 lead, but the Cougars stormed back by going on a 9-1 run to cut the lead to 19-18. Greenwood Christian tied the score at 23-23 and scored three of the final four points to claim the set.
The third set was just as close. Hauser built a 15-7 lead before the Cougars came back again. This time, the Jets slammed the door and were able to hold on to the set.
“We had a hard time putting the ball away, and they kept hitting it back over,” Hauser coach Jeff Case said. “We played a little sloppy when we had the lead and lost focus. Give credit to (Greenwood Christian) — they played tough defense.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match, and we were going to have our ups and downs,” he said. “We stayed calm and staying with the process of what we were doing.”
Hauser did not give Greenwood Academy any hope in the fourth set. With the Jets leading 14-13. A Cougar error and seven straight service points by Schoen sealed the deal.
For the Jets, Alana Owen recorded 43 assists, Madie Sherman pounded nine kills, Tannyr Davis had four blocks and Sarah Tedder notched 24 digs.