Medford’s Hemann hits 1,000 set assists
Medford junior setter Hailey Hemann smiles at the crowd as she is recognized for earning her 1,000th set assist as a Tiger. Hemann was gifted a sign and balloons by the home crowd for her accomplishment. Staff photo by Johnnie Phillips
Medford setter Hailey Hemann reached the 1,000 set-assist milestone last week during a 3-0 win over Randolph.
Immediately after she recorded No. 1,000 by assisting Annette Kniefel on a kill to make the score 21-12 in the second set, Medford volleyball head coach Missy Underdahl called timeout to allow the junior a moment to celebrate with the home crowd and her teammates.
“I was just really happy. I wasn’t expecting it, so it was really special. Just the family aspect of this team and community… it’s special,” said Hemann.
According to the junior, the milestone was something she knew she was likely to accomplish this season; however, she did not know when.
“I actually thought it was going to be a while out. So I was surprised,” she said.
Hemann’s milestone could not have come during a better part of the season for the Tigers.
Medford had won six straight games prior to its matchup with Randolph, and when Hemann hit her mark, the Tigers had already built a sizeable lead in the second set, after claiming the first 25-17.
Underdahl’s timeout may have stopped the Tigers' momentum during the set; however, the celebration for Hemann sent cheers and applause through the Medford gym that even got to the best of players and coaches.
“I literally have goosebumps right now with you just asking about that moment,” said Underdahl during a post-game interview with the Times. “It’s something you can only dream of as an athlete to have a moment like that in front of your home crowd. We knew the way that it was all coming together that we had to give her that moment to remember.”
A moment it was.
Hemann was surrounded by her team and gifted a sign, flowers, and balloons to commemorate her accomplishment.
However, what might be even sweeter for Underdahl than celebrating Hemann’s achievement is the knowledge that she reached such a milestone as a junior.
Having only been a part of Medford’s varsity squad for two seasons, Hemann has been extremely efficient and is only learning and growing as a player every game.
Already a team captain and major contributor, Hemann figures to also play a major leadership role on this young Tigers squad in her senior year.