Over the years, I have watched a lot of Hauser volleyball and recognize how fortunate we are to have such a great program. I still fondly recall the first sectional we took back in 2008 in Class 2A beating a very tough Lawrenceburg team in 5 sets, a match that took well over 2 hours to play with every set close. This year, with the spirited cheer block and fans repeating Hauser Volleyball over and over again as the Jets proved victorious in the IHSAA Volleyball Class A Regional #15 at Morristown, it brought back many wonderful memories of my two daughters, their teammates, and many others before and after them.

Volleyball is a beautiful team sport to participate in and to watch. It is fast paced, requires multiple skills, and every player must be ready to contribute no matter their role. Easy plays are just expected. Great teams must make the impossible plays possible, when the offense is thinking they have scored only to see the ball coming back over the court. In the regional, we had to make several. There was one I don't think our fans will forget. The ball was bouncing around in the rafters on our side, and we somehow turned it into a winning point.

I just arrived for the final points of the first set against the Indy Lutheran Saints, a school we have played several times in tournament play over the years. We won it 25-20; however, the match itself would go the distance before we could pull it out. In the second set, we got down 1-7 before fighting back to tie it at 11-11. Then, we fell behind again 16-20 before once again pulling even at 20-20. We ended up losing it 23-25. The third set belonged to Indy Lutheran almost from the very beginning as we went down 16-25. At this point, I'm sure some were wondering if our team could find momentum in the fourth set. Well, they did and got up 13-6, but the momentum shifted as it often does with this sport. We were ahead at 15-14 only to get behind 20-21. Of course, we had to have this set, or the season would be over. The Lady Jets reached deep and found a way to win 25-23. We then won the fifth set 15-8! It is doubtful if many felt sure until the very last point was on the scoreboard for a few seconds. It was a hard fought match by both teams, a match that certainly spoke volumes of our character.

Would the momentum continue against the Tindley Tigers, another school we have played before in tournament play? The answer came quickly as we always had the lead in the first set and stretched it to 25-17 by the the end. The second set found us once again struggling as we fell behind 4-8 but then pulling in front at 16-13. But, Tindley then fought back to take the lead at 23-24. Not wanting to repeat what happened in the afternoon match, we made some key plays and won 26-24. The third set belonged to Hauser with the final score being 25-14.

There was then a celebration on the Morristown gym floor, a school that has many volleyball banners itself, and in our small town. Once again, memories returned as we were behind the firetrucks and police cars escorting the bus of jubilant players and coaching staff around Hope and Hauser. It was quite the line of vehicles. Sounds of joy could be heard throughout, another special night in our town of just over 2,000 Hopeites.

Why do we have small schools, small towns, and class sports in Indiana? If you don't know the answer to that question, then I would encourage you to join the Hauser Nation (thanks again Sam Simmermaker) for the IHSAA Volleyball Class A Semi-state at Columbus East where we play Barr-Reeve at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28th!