It will be two months Thursday since Hauser and Barr-Reeve met in a battle of small-school volleyball powers in the Scottsburg Invitational.
The Vikings won that match in two sets, but both teams were missing key players. Those players will be back on the court Saturday when the teams meet in a rematch in the semistate at Columbus East.
“It was difficult for both of us because it was a Saturday tournament, it was our fourth match of the day, and those Saturday tournaments can be pretty exhausting, so we know that we did not get their best shot,” Barr-Reeve coach Amber DeCoursey said. “I thought we did some things well, but we had a couple girls out with some injuries, and some of them are back in a smaller role.”
The Vikings (23-13) lost their first three matches of that tournament. The Jets (34-4) won their first three matches that day.
But senior middle hitter Madie Sherman, who was there for the first three matches, had to leave for a wedding and missed the Barr-Reeve contest.
“Without her, everybody was moved around and a little discombobulated,” Hauser coach Jeff Case said. “Of course, that was early in the season, and we weren’t sure what was going on anyway. She’ll make a big difference.”
Senior Sydney Schoen, an Eastern Kentucky recruit, leads the Class A No. 2 Jets with 309 kills, 507 digs and 97 aces. Senior Alana Owen has 936 assists.
Sherman leads Hauser with 75 blocks and has 287 kills. Senior Sarah Tedder adds 202 kills, 33 blocks, 361 digs and 61 aces.
“We just go into this knowing that Hauser is playing very well right now and has a lot of weapons,” DeCoursey said. “They’re a very good team.”
Most of the Vikings’ 13 losses have come against 3A and 4A opponents and out-of-state schools. Only two of their losses have been to Class A opponents, and they avenged one of them in the regional semifinals against Trinity Lutheran.
Barr-Reeve plays four seniors but also has three freshmen and a sophomore that play all the way around.
“This is the most youthful and inexperienced team that we’ve had in a very long time,” said DeCoursey, who led the Vikings to a Class A state runner-up finish in 2008 and a state title in 2013.
Besides the loss to Barr-Reeve, the Jets’ defeats have come against 4A New Palestine, 3A Greensburg and 4A Greenfield-Central. Hauser avenged the loss to Greensburg later in the season.
The Jets, who won their own sectional for the eighth consecutive year, captured their second straight regional on Saturday at Morristown. They rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit against Indianapolis Lutheran in the semifinals before sweeping Indianapolis Tindley in three sets in the final.
“I thought we played really well Saturday,” Case said. “I was extremely happy with that, especially against Tindley. Our ball control was a little off against Indy Lutheran, and that showed up really big in the second and third set, but we passed really well against Tindley.”
Saturday’s winner advances to the state title game at 11 a.m. Nov. 4 at Ball State’s Worthen Arena against the winner of Saturday’s northern semistate between Pioneer and Lafayette Central Catholic.
What: Volleyball semistate
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Columbus East High School
Who: Hauser (34-4) vs. Barr Reeve (23-13)