For the past 11 seasons, Hauser has been the team hoisting the trophy at center court celebrating its sectional championship victory.
Unfortunately for the Jets, that streak ended in their semifinal match against Waldron Saturday morning with a 3-0 defeat to the Mohawks, 25-15, 25-20, 27-25.
It was the rubber match between the two teams, as Hauser defeated Waldron 3-1 earlier in the season, and then fell to the Mohawks just a week later 2-0. This match went the Mohawks way.
The Jets did not give up the trophy without a valiant fight, however. Trailing 19-11 in the third set, it seemed that the defending champs would bow out gracefully. That was not the case. With their backs against the wall, the Jets battled back, outscoring Waldron 9-2 over the next eleven points to tie the set at 21. The Mohawks then scored the next three points to give themselves a match point.
Hauser answered right back, saving three straight match points to tie the set at 24. The Jets then scored the next point, earning an opportunity to win the set taking 25-24 lead. But the Mohawks showed their own moxie, saving that set point and scoring the next two to finish out the set and the match 27-25. With the loss, a team other than Hauser will celebrating the sectional championship for the first time in over a decade.
Given the way the match started, it appeared that Waldron was more than up to the challenge to unseat the Jets. Hauser jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in the opening set, but it was all the Mohawks from that point forward. Using an 8-2 scoring run, Waldron tied the set at nine. From there, they outscored the Jets 15-5 for a 25-15 first set win.
The second set was more about Hauser being unable to get out of its own way than what Waldron threw at the Jets. Hauser’s serving and service reception were both a struggle in the second set loss. The Jets had seven service errors, including four-straight at one point, and a myriad of reception errors that helped the Mohawks throughout the set.
Even with the unforced errors, the Jets were able to made a game of it. A Mikenze Bostic kill tied the set at 11. After the Mohawks extended the lead to 17-13, Charlie Clark slammed a kill to bring Hauser to within three points at 17-14. And although the Jets would score the next point to cut the lead to two, Waldron was able to pull away for the 25-20 second set victory.
And although Hauser were not celebrating Saturday night, they are young so the future looks bright.
They will lose three players to graduation. Seniors Andie Clark, Gabrielle Johns, and Stephanie Meek will walk away, leaving a strong legacy for the returning players. And the returning players and coach Jeff Case will focus their energy on starting another decade long streak of sectional championships.