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SEYMOUR — When the Trinity Lutheran volleyball team needed a point in its showdown with Hauser on Thursday night, the Cougars went to Sarah Stuckwisch.
That’s the way it has been all season for Trinity, which is 19-2 and ranked No. 7 in Class A. With six seniors gone from this past year’s state runner-up squad, the 6-foot-2 Stuckwisch has emerged as the Cougars’ go-to girl.
“She’s a big asset to this team,” Trinity coach Chelsey Hackman said. “We can count on her to put balls away. She’s a very good blocker. She has a nice serve. To be that well rounded is huge. The only thing more she could do is be able to pass the ball, and that’s hard for somebody her size. She’s done a lot of good things, and she has a good head on her shoulders.”
The senior middle hitter has been dominant at the net this season, leading the Cougars with 215 kills and 120 blocks.
“It’s very rare for her to have a bad game,” Hackman said. “When we played Barr-Reeve and Indy Lutheran and Eastern Greene at the Barr-Reeve Tournament, she came up pretty big. She comes through almost every game.”
Trinity swept No. 3 Barr-Reeve, No. 5 Lutheran and Eastern Greene to win that Barr-Reeve tourney Sept. 1. The Cougars knocked off No. 10 Hauser in five games Thursday and swept Rising Sun, Brown County and Crothersville on Saturday to win their Cougar Invitational.
“To have the season that we’re having, it’s just absolutely phenomenal,” Stuckwisch said. “It speaks volumes about our team. The fact that we were able to pull this game off (Thursday), it speaks volumes about our team, and with this drive, I think we could go all the way.”
Stuckwisch shares leadership responsibilities with the other two seniors — setter Hannah Barker and libero Kyra Klosterman.
“I think the leadership overall is just fantastic, and it is a lot like last year,” Stuckwisch said. “Being a senior, you have to take on some of that pressure and some of that responsibility to lead your team and pull them up when you’re down. I feel like Hannah, Kyra and I do a great job of doing that, as well as Mandan (Langley) and Mallory (Barker). We all work together as a team, and when that happens, we win.”
Although she began receiving interest from some big college programs as early as her sophomore year, Stuckwisch wasn’t sold on playing volleyball at the next level until recently.
“I don’t want to go to a big school, though,” Stuckwisch said. “I’m working on finding a college that suits me. I’ve wavered a bit, kind of like ‘Do I want to play? Do I not want to play?’ and as the season comes to a close, I’m realizing I don’t want this to be my last vollevball game.”
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