LOOGOOTEE — After capturing the first two sets Saturday morning, the Hauser volleyball team was well on its way to clinching a second Class A final four appearance in three seasons.
But Indianapolis Tindley made a serious comeback. The Tigers made better plays defensive that allowed them to run their offense efficiently, and the Jets started losing all the momentum that they gained after the first two sets.
The evaporation of that momentum ended their season with a 22-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-22, 15-12 loss in the Loogootee Semistate semifinals.
The Class A No. 4 Jets finish the season 33-4. The season-ending loss was tough for seniors Hailey Lange, Brea Metz and Shelbey Zachariah.
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As disappointing as the loss was, Metz reflected on her high school volleyball career.
“It’s been awesome,” Metz said. “I really did not expect we could make it this far. This team has exceeded my expectations. My teammates are amazing, and I wish them nothing but the best of luck next year.”
Lange said the season was still a success.
“It was a great year, and it has been amazing to play with all these girls. It was a fun time,” Lange said.
“I think with us three seniors gone, this team is still going to be great, strong, and they’re going to do well.”
Hauser coach Jeff Case has big shoes to fill for next season.
“They have meant a lot to me,” Case said. “They have good leadership, and they are great kids to coach. It’s always hard when it is your last game together. We had a great year. It is really hard for them now, but they will have time and have perspective on just how good it was.”
In the first set, the Jets trailed 18-14 but stormed back by going on a 9-1 scoring run and finished out the set from there.
Hauser climbed ahead 15-9 in the second set, but Tindley went on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 17-17. The Jets closed it out by going on an 8-2 run themselves.
From that point forward, Hauser lost control of the match, and that allowed the Tigers to make the come from behind win.
Alana Owen recorded 37 assists and served four aces. Metz finished with 24 kills. Sarah Tedder had 20 digs and two aces, Sydney Schoen added 11 kills and two aces and Lange served two aces, and Tannyr Davis had three blocks.
Even with the loss of the seniors, the Jets return a strong nucleus of juniors.
“We’ll still really have a great team,” Tedder said. “Our seniors were great people and great players. We are still going to fight and practice a lot. We’re going to have new freshmen coming in, too.”
Schoen hopes the team can make a return to semistate next year.
“I’m excited for next year, and I feel like we can do a lot of great things,” Schoen said. “It will be interesting to see how things come together next year.”
“We have a lot of potential next year,” he said. “That is the job-to always get back, and that is what we are trying to do every year. It is certainly nice that we have a lot of returning players like this for next year.”