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HOPE — The Hauser volleyball set a goal early in the season: win a sectional title.
On Saturday night, the Jets accomplished that goal by defeating South Decatur 3-1 in the Hauser Sectional finals. The Jets won 25-13, 21-25, 25-18, 28-26.
Hauser (24-8) played aggressive volleyball the entire match to earn the championship.
“We seemed to get good separation but would often let them (South Decatur) back into games,” Hauser coach Jeff Case said. “South Decatur is a very talented and confident team. They play great defense, especially in the middle.”
Hauser was led on offense by junior Jordan McDaniel, who set a team season high with 24 kills. McDaniel often came into games and provided an emotional lift for the Jets.
“We’re still a young team, so we’re always learning and improving,” McDaniel said. “So even when we struggle, we usually adjust quickly. We did a good job today of playing together and powering through when we struggled and not letting it determine our game.”
“We came out excited and emotional in the beginning, and I think it made us nervous early,” said Hauser senior Haley Webster, who had 22 digs and two aces for her team. “We had to remain calm and get our heads back in the game. Even when we’d fall behind, it would only take one big play to turn it around and get our intensity back up.”
Danielle Giles had 30 digs and Jordan Cain had 14 digs for Hauser. Ellie Trotter added 42 assists and seven kills for the Jets.
The loss for South Decatur (22-10) ended a successful season that saw an improved record.
“My girls played their hearts out tonight, that’s all I could’ve asked for,” South Decatur coach Lisa Bennett said. “We were prepared and knew they were a good team. They played great volleyball today and definitely earned their win.”
South Decatur came out strong in each game against Hauser, but struggled to put games away.
“Our timing was off today,” Bennett said. “We couldn’t get to where we needed to be to make the plays and execute our game plan. We couldn’t put it away.”
South Decatur was led by Ashley Johannigman with nine kills, Julia Miller with eight kills and Megan Niese with seven kills. Brittany Koors added 20 assists for the Cougars.
Hauser will begin regional play Tuesday against Indianapolis Lutheran.
“We have to understand that if we eliminate our mistakes, it takes away opportunities for our opponent to score,” Case said. “We need to be patient on offense and play tough defense. If we continue to stay focused and play hard then we can continue to improve as a team.”
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