As a sophomore on the varsity Minooka girls volleyball team, Skyler Day complemented 2011 Morris Daily Herald All-Area MVP Stacey Perinar’s 405 kills with 223 of her own.
With Perinar lost to graduation, Day led not only the Indians but also the entire MDH area by tallying 347 kills in 2012.
Day will begin writing the story of her final varsity season with the Indians Tuesday when they face Lockport at home.
In between practices this week, Day shared her thoughts with the Morris Daily Herald.
Q. When and why did you pick the University of Buffalo?
A. My sophomore year of club, I decided to commit to UB.
I picked Buffalo because I loved absolutely everything about it. The school has what I want to study (criminal psychology), the coaches are amazing, the girls were so welcoming and I wanted to be a part of Buffalo’s growing program.
Q. Is it a relief to have the process over before your senior year begins?
A. It’s somewhat of a relief, but I also feel the pressure to keep improving every aspect of my game. Just because I’m committed doesn’t mean I have to put forth less effort than I have before. It makes me want to work that much harder so that when I get to college, I can contribute to the team as much as possible.
Q. At what point did you realize volleyball could be something that could help get you to college?
A. I’ve honestly always loved to play, so I think from the start I’ve wanted to play after high school.
My sophomore year was when I really started to look into colleges, though. I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity to play in college and continue doing what I love.
Q. Did hitting the ball come naturally to you, or is it something you’ve more progressively improved at over time?
A. I think it’s a little bit of both. When I first started my volleyball career, way back in sixth grade, I was a setter.
It wasn’t until after my freshman high school season that I started playing outside and actually hitting the ball. I had some raw skill when it came to hitting, but with the help of all of my coaches, I began getting better and better. I still have a lot to improve on when it comes to hitting, and I’m constantly learning and adjusting my swing to be the most effective, efficient hitter I can be.
Q. When did you start playing club volleyball? Have you always been at Sports Performance?
A. I started playing club my freshman year. I started out at UNO, and my junior year I decided that the best move for me would be switching to Sports Performance.
Q. In what ways has your club experience transformed your game, and specifically how have you grown as an all-around player through it?
A. My club experience has transformed my game tremendously. The competition and level of play is set very high. For the girls playing club, volleyball is a full-time sport.
I have learned so much by playing club — especially in this past year. The coaches, my team and all the players at Sports Performance have taught me all about commitment, hard work and what it truly takes to make a team succeed.
Q. This will be the second year where you’re sort of the go-to hitter at Minooka. Are you comfortable in that role?
A. I am definitely comfortable in the role I play for the team. This being my third year as an outside on varsity, as well as the help I’ve received from former players and coach Chris (Hoelscher), has definitely prepared me to step up and be the player I need to be for this team for two years. We have a great group of hitters coming in this year, along with great returning players, so I can’t wait to see all that they have to offer as well.
Q. When you were an underclassman on the varsity, what did you take from some of the other big hitters that came before you?
A. Being an underclassmen on varsity, I’ve gotten to play with some really awesome girls and some great hitters. I’ve learned that it’s not just you out on that court. Just because you might be the one getting the kill doesn’t mean it’s all about you. Without a pass there wouldn’t be a set, and without a set there wouldn’t be a kill.
Q. If there’s one thing you would define as the biggest key to this season, what is it?
A. The biggest key to this season is working together and having everyone play their role on the team. It’s not just offense and it’s not just defense, it’s the whole team working as one unit. If everyone continues working well together and putting forth all their effort, I have full confidence in saying we’re in for a great year.
Q. You guys are pretty well established as one of the top teams in the SPC and have won three straight regionals. Is that a good place for the program to be, or do you want to help take it to another place before you leave?
A. Having done well in the past is really great and I’m so proud to say that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of past successes, but we are always looking to go further and take the program to the next level.