“We started out slow, which I attribute to nerves and anxiety of who the other team was,” said Coach Bennett.
After falling 25-13 in set one, the Lady Cougars regrouped and controlled the second set. South took a 9-8 advantage and led the rest of the way, with Hauser climbing to within one just once (19-18).
South also led early in the third set, with a block-kill by Johannigman making it 3-0. A kill by Johannigman made it 5-2. Hauser called a timeout after South built its biggest lead, 13-8. The Lady Jets went on an 11-2 run, prompting a South timeout. Hauser nursed a five-point margin and took the third set by seven, 25-18.
Once again, South enjoyed an early lead and built a 6-2 edge in the fourth set. The Cougars maintained a five-point lead that became 17-11 through the set’s first half. However, Hauser wasted no time erasing its deficit. Miller tallied a block-kill to make it 18-14, but Hauser turned up the pressure and tied it at 19-all. The teams forced five ties down the stretch, with Hauser breaking a 26-all tie to claim the match by two.
“The girls played great tonight, just couldn’t pull out the win,” said Bennett. “They gave it their all and left it all on the floor. It is a heartbreaking end to the season, especially for the seniors; they are a very talented and great group of girls and they will definitely be missed on the court next season.”
South hit 117-for-126 with 31 kills and eight block-kills. Miller and Johannigman again led South in hitting. Johannigman hit 30-for-35 with a team-high nine kills and five block-kills, and Miller hit 30-for-31 with eight kills and three block-kills. Niese hit 24-for-25 with seven kills. Baltus hit 18-for-20 with three kills. Koors hit 12-for-12 with two kills, and Watkins chipped in a 3-for-3 night with two kills.