Hauser volleyball player Sarah Tedder walked into the first day of practice to find out she would be switched to a position she hadn’t played since her middle school days.
Coach Jeff Case found out days before the season started that one of his front-row hitters moved away and looked to Tedder to fill the void. He was forced to switch last year’s libero to an outside hitter.
“It’s really been a struggle,” Tedder said. “I haven’t hit in a really long time in an actual rotation. I hit a couple of times last year when a few players were hurt, but nothing that was as serious and major as this role that I’m playing now.”
Case wanted to keep Tedder at the libero position because of her defensive skills and passing ability, but putting her as an outside hitter has helped the Jets make it to the semistate for the second year in a row. Tedder combined for 25 digs in Saturday’s two regional matches against Indianapolis Lutheran and Indianapolis Tindley.
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Tedder has thrived in her role with 336 digs and 20 blocks this season, which ranks second on the team in both categories. She is third on the team with 190 kills, and Case said she has done better than he expected.
Tedder is comfortable in her role now, but said it wasn’t easy for her to get to where she is today as an outside hitter. She was extremely nervous when she found out about the position change.
“It was really nerve-wracking to come in and have to work 10 times harder to get where I am right now,” Tedder said. “It’s just putting in reps, putting in the work that I need to do every single day.”
Getting a higher vertical on top of improving her blocking and hitting skills were the first things she worked on to start the season. Tedder struggled in the first couple of matches because she said she wasn’t as aggressive as she should have been. She started to find her rhythm as the season went on and really is enjoying her new role.
Case said Tedder, a three-sport athlete, always has been mentally tough, and the mental toughness that she showed in the libero position just transferred over as an outside hitter. He also said the team chemistry has improved with her at that position.
“This has been one of the best years I’ve ever had as far as team chemistry,” Case said. “The girls are just working together and staying positive. It’s been a lot of fun this year.”
The Jets have never played in a volleyball state championship match. The closest Tedder has been to a was when they fell to Christian Academy of Indiana in the semistate final her freshman year.
Having the chance to win a Class A state title in her last year would be a nice cap to Tedder’s high school career. Class A No. 2 Hauser (34-4) will have to get past Barr-Reeve (23-13) on Saturday to keep its hopes alive for the school’s first state championship.
“Oh my gosh, the excitement, I couldn’t even express in words how exciting that would be,” Tedder said. “I mean even just to get there would be amazing, to be the first Hauser team to get that far.”
Name: Sarah Tedder
Sports: Volleyball, basketball, tennis
Volleyball position: Outside hitter
Key stats: 190 kills, 20 blocks, 336 digs
What: Volleyball semistate
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Columbus East High School
Who: Hauser (34-4) vs. Barr Reeve (23-13)