NEW LENOX – After losing a tough three-set match on Tuesday against Lincoln-Way East, Minooka’s boys volleyball team bounced back Wednesday as it defeated Lincoln-Way Central, 25-14, 25-22, to spoil the Knights’ season opener.
“It was good to be able to play quickly and get the win,” Minooka coach Mike Kargle said. “We wanted to have a short memory, especially after one got away from us on Tuesday night. We have really never opened this early in the season, and playing two quality programs in [Lincoln-Way] East and Central will really help us, and it gives us a great look at what we need to work on.”
The Indians didn’t show any ill effects from the loss to East as they jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead against the Knights and built it to 23-11 at one point.
Shane Ooms recorded six kills, had two blocks and five digs to lead Minooka, who also received two aces and nine service points from Mack Tyrell.
“Since I slimmed down a little, my vertical has really improved, and when I knew I could jump like that, it gave me motivation to work even harder,” Ooms said. “It was nice to come back right away and play a match after the loss to East. I’m excited about this season because we have a talented team with strong players coming off the bench, and everyone is learning their roles.”
“Over the summer, playing club volleyball, I was floating too much on the serve, but since I’ve come back to school volleyball, I’ve really worked on my serve, and it has paid off,” Tyrell said. “I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t play against East, because this is a team game, and I’ll do whatever it takes for us to win. But I liked the serve tonight, and I feel like I can get the opponent out of their system with it.”
In the second set, the Knights jumped out to a 9-3 lead before Minooka called a timeout and then went on a 9-2 run to take a 12-11 lead.
With the set then tied at 17, the Indians went on a a 5-0 run to make it 22-17. Central, which was led by Jack Yurkanin (five kills), fought back to get back to within one point at 23-22, but couldn’t sustain the run.
“During that timeout in the second set, I just told them it’s one point at a time, that is all you can do,” Kargle said. “All you have to do is go hard, both mentally and physically, for five to six seconds, and then you get a break. They are really buying into that approach and it brought us back in the second set.
“This coming weekend we play in the Marist Tournament and these two matches showed us some things. I’m really looking forward to see what this group can do because they got most of their experience as sophomores, and now they know the game a little better.”