HOPE — In the summer of 2014, Hauser volleyball coaches Jeff Case and Becky Schoen took their team to a camp at Ball State University.
The core of this year’s team were entering their freshman year that year, and now as seniors, they’re going back. The Class A No. 2 Jets will play No. 1 Lafayette Central Catholic in the state finals at 11 a.m. Saturday at Ball State’s Worthen Arena.
“State finals are always something that people dream about, but I never really thought about being back for state,” senior Sydney Schoen said. “It was kind of in the back of my mind, like ‘Oh, maybe one day I could be here,’ but I never really pictured myself being able to play there again.”
Sydney Schoen was the only current Hauser player at the 2014 camp since only the varsity went that year, and she was the only freshman on varsity. The next year, both the varsity and JV teams made the trip.
That year, Alana Owen and Sarah Tedder were varsity players, and Madie Sherman was on the JV.
“I did think it would be cool, like, ‘Oh, maybe one time we’ll be able to come back and play here,'” Owen said. “But not until this year and the state tournament started did I really think, ‘Oh wow, we could actually get there.'”
That became a reality Saturday when the Jets (35-4) beat Barr-Reeve at Columbus East to capture the semistate title.
Hauser had reached the semistate finals in 2014 before falling to Christian Academy of Indiana. The Jets returned to the semistate last year but lost to Indianapolis Tindley in the semifinals.
“It’s every team’s goal to get to the state finals,” Tedder said. “Like Sydney said, though, it wasn’t anything that I ever really thought about so much until things were progressing for us, and we started to get better. I realized that we did have a chance to get there. In the former years, I always thought that we could get there. We never did, which is disappointing, but now that it’s finally here, it’s pretty exciting.”
Sherman became a varsity player as a junior. Prior to that season, instead of going to Ball State, the Munciana Volleyball Club came to Hauser to put on a camp.
But Sherman remembers going to Ball State prior to her sophomore year and thinking about someday playing there on the state’s biggest stage.
“It was in the back of my mind,” Sherman said. “I did think about it, but I never did think until this year we would be able to make it. We did have a lot of good chances, but this year, it’s actually real.”
Volleyball State Finals
Saturday at Worthen Arena, Muncie
Class A: Hauser (35-4) vs. Lafayette Central Catholic (29-5), 11 a.m.
Class 2A: Andrean (29-8) vs. Christian Academy of Indiana (34-5), 1 p.m.
Class 3A: New Castle (33-6) vs. Brebeuf Jesuit (29-9), 3 p.m.
Class 4A: Crown Point (35-3) vs. Avon (36-3), 5 p.m.
Presale tickets for the Volleyball State Finals are on sale through Friday at Hauser High School.
Tickets will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today and from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Cost is $12 per ticket and will be good for all four games Saturday.