Eight years ago, they played together for the first time and won the Casey Cooley Tournament in Columbus.
Now, they are seniors at Hauser and four-time sectional champions. Alana Owen, Sydney Schoen, Madie Sherman and Sarah Tedder will look for their third Class A regional title on Saturday when the Jets play in the Morristown Semistate.
“Being able to experience it with my teammates has just been awesome, and going back to regional, we’re all super excited to make another appearance, and hopefully, we’ll pull out another regional title,” Schoen said.
Schoen started as a freshman when Hauser went 30-8 and advanced to the semistate final. Owen stepped in as the starting setter the next year when the Jets set a school record for wins in going 34-2.
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Last year, Sherman and Tedder became starters, and Hauser went 33-4 with a regional title. With a 32-4 record this season and a 129-18 mark over four years, this senior class is the first to post four 30-win seasons.
“There have been a lot of good (classes), and it’s hard to compare apples to oranges and players to players, but this is a good group,” Hauser coach Jeff Case said. “They’re pretty mature and just are team players and leaders, and the team chemistry, you get that primarily from your seniors and captains, and they’ve done a great job. We’ve had tremendous team chemistry this year, and it really carries over to the court.”
Schoen, who has committed to Eastern Kentucky, leads the Jets with 284 kills, 454 digs and 93 aces. Owen has 856 assists, along with 72 kills, 33 blocks, 188 digs and 68 aces.
Sherman leads Hauser with 67 blocks and has 259 kills, 69 digs and 23 aces. Tedder adds 190 kills, 32 blocks, 336 digs and 56 aces.
“I think that we work really well together,” Tedder said. “I’ve played with three of these girls since we were in about sixth grade, and I’ve played with Megan (Swinford) for the last three years. We all get along really well and have good attitudes out on the court and we always pick each other up. We push through, and we never give up or lay over for another team. I think that all of our personalities just come together to make one awesome team.”
Swinford is the Jets’ fifth senior. She came to Hauser as a sophomore after being the junior varsity setter at Waldron as a freshman.
Swinford was the JV setter for the Jets as a sophomore before getting some playing time in the back row last year. This year, she is part of the nine-player rotation.
“We’ve always lived in the area, and I go to church here, and I just decided that I wanted to start going to Hauser, not entirely because of the volleyball, but that was a big plus,” Swinford said. “I didn’t even know if I was going to make the team since they were so good.”
At that point, Hauser already had established a reputation as a small-school volleyball powerhouse. The Jets were coming off a final four appearance in 2014.
Owen, Schoen, Sherman and Tedder led middle school teams that went undefeated as both seventh- and eighth-graders.
“We were focused on being undefeated two years in a row,” Sherman said. “It got a lot tougher when we got into high school.”
Saturday, the Jets will play in the semifinals at around 12:30 p.m. against an Indianapolis Lutheran team that they beat in four sets early in the season. If Hauser wins, it would play Clay City or Indianapolis Tindley in the final at 7 p.m. Saturday.
But the focus for now is squarely on Lutheran.
“We’ve been working hard since we started playing, and this has been something that we’ve looked forward to since we were young, watching the older girls,” Owen said. “But I also think the matchups in regional are kind of in our favor because we’ve played this team before, and we did beat them.”
The Jets won’t be satisfied with just another regional title, however. They’ll be looking to make their first finals appearance and possibly win a state championship.
Tedder thinks they have a good chance.
“This team is amazing,” Tedder said. “We can do amazing things if we play our best game. Jeff always says that we are good enough when we play our best. We have four games left if we get all the way to state, and if we work hard in practices, and we focus during the games, then I think that we can go down in history as the team to go the farthest in the postseason.”
11 a.m.: Clay City (23-4) vs. Indianapolis Tindley (23-11)
12:30 p.m.: Hauser (32-4) vs. Indianapolis Lutheran (16-18)
7 p.m.: Championship