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HOPE — The atmosphere in Hauser gym was electric as the crowd rose to its feet, eagerly anticipating a second consecutive regional title for the Jets.
A kill from senior middle blocker Lauren Gross brought the Jets to within one point of victory, and there was no turning back.
The entire gym held its collective breath as match point was served to Indy Lutheran, which then dove for the ball unsuccessfully. The ball hit the floor, capping the regional victory for Hauser as the student section stormed the court, surrounding the victorious Jets.
“This is so unreal, I don’t even know how to describe it,” Gross said. “We had home court advantage, and we just came out and took it to them.”
After falling to Class A No. 2 Indy Lutheran in the first game of the Class A regional on Tuesday night, the No. 8 Jets didn’t falter again, defeating the Saints 20-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-14.
Led by Gross, the Jets scored 12 straight points in Game 4 to put them up 12-1 on the Saints.
Gross said that after losing a bit of momentum in the first game, they simply “turned on the light switch.”
“We just got our heads back in the game and started scoring, making plays, and doing the things that we needed to do.” Gross said.
Gross led the Jets with 27 kills and eight blocks, while Danielle Giles had 13 digs and Maclyn Greenlee had three aces for Hauser.
Jets’ head coach Jeff Case couldn’t say enough about the leadership Gross demonstrated on the court.
“She’s been a great leader for us all year, but tonight she really stepped up,” Case said. “It was amazing.”
Senior setter Mikala Greenlee also played a major role in the victory, setting up 32 assists for the Jets.
“It feels amazing to be here again,” Greenlee said. “This is only our second regional title, and it feels awesome to be on both teams to do it. It was really special to win this one at home.”
The Jets will face No. 4 Trinity Lutheran in the first round of the Loogootee Semi-State at 11 a.m. Saturday. The championship match will be at 7 p.m.
When asked what preparation will consist of leading up to the semi-state matchup, Gross said they must stay mentally focused.
“We just need to continue to do the things that we do well,” Gross said. “As long as we stay on top of our mental game and focus on the little things, we will be ready.”
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