JOLIET – The atmosphere at Joliet Catholic Academy on Tuesday was atypical for a Sept. 4 prep girls volleyball match, with filled bleachers on both sides and raucous student sections.
Minooka’s play might be considered perfectly typical for a team in its second match of the season – and having gone a week since its first. With seven service errors, seven hitting errors and eight violations that resulted in JCA points, the Indians beat themselves almost as much as the Angels beat them in a 25-17, 25-17 decision.
“I think it was just an off day. It just didn’t click for us today,” Minooka outside hitter Skyler Day said. “I think we’re going to come back hard and 10 times better, so I’m excited to see what we’re going to do.”
Gabriella Shepherd of Minooka served up an ace to begin the match, but the score soon turned in JCA’s favor. A Minooka service error broke a 2-2 tie, and JCA junior Mallory Krzysciak followed with five quick service points. The Indians got no closer than four points from the lead after that with a run of five straight points by Angela Vera of JCA, giving the Angels their biggest lead at 16-7.
The first point of the second game also went to the Indians, but 13 of the next 15 went to the Angels.
Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher said the 0-2 Indians are not where they want to be with the Edwardsville Tournament looming this weekend. Hoelscher was particularly displeased with their digging and serving, but found more to like than in their opening loss to Lockport.
“We did see some positives. I thought our serve receive was real solid tonight,” Hoelscher said. “Cynthia Lee kind of came out tonight. We switched her from right side to middle, and she had some nice swings at the ball. Couple of them went long, but she was getting up in the air, and if she gets up like that, it’s going to be hard for a lot of people to stop her.”
Day said the Indians are aware of several specific areas of the game in which they can play better.
“Definitely putting up balls and going for every ball on defense, reading the block better and getting in between that so you are picking up more balls,” Day said. “We were pretty aggressive today, so that was a step up from Lockport. It was a learning experience.”