MINOOKA – When a team drops the opening set and then falls behind, 18-10, in the second set, prospects usually are not very good that they’ll able to stage a comeback.
The Minooka girls volleyball team’s revival was better late than never as it staged a dramatic rally in its home opener against Lockport on Tuesday. They closed the second set with a 15-5 run and then overcame a 10-7 deficit in the third set with a 18-5 spurt to pull out a, 19-25, 25-23, 25-15, nonconference win.
The Indians’ comeback was led by Desiree Anderson (15 kills, 10 digs), Jada Hampton (seven blocks), Zoey Seput (34 assists, four kills, 15 digs), Mia Alessio (15 digs), Holly Kropke (six kills) and Hailey Sperling (six kills).
“I knew that we weren’t executing as well as we should have been,” Anderson said. “So I just tried to lead by example by trying to hype everybody up just to bring us more together as a team. We all started passing the ball better. Zoey’s setting was amazing, and we started putting balls down. It took everybody, not just one person.”
While realizing that the odds of a comeback were long, Minooka coach Carrie Prosek was understandably thrilled by how the Indians turned things around and got the job done.
“That’s a big confidence builder,” Prosek said. “It’s very hard to come back when you’re down, 18-10. We started serving tougher to get them out of their routine. I’m very proud of our girls since that’s the best offensive team we’ve been up against all year.”
The Porters (6-3) looked to be in the driver’s seat in the second set after Dovile Gorys (17 assists) served five-straight points with Leena Ajibola (seven kills, three blocks) supplying two blocks and a kill. Nadia Goich (five kills, three blocks) also had a block during that run to give the Porters an 18-10 advantage.
But the Indians (7-1) used three straight kills from Anderson to close to within 20-18 and an ace by Alessio narrowed it to 21-20. Lockport got a kill from Becca Oldendorf (seven kills) to go up 23-20, but Anderson got a kill and served the final four points.
“We all believe in each other 100% and always fight as a team no matter how much we’re down, since we never want to give up,” Seput said. “We’re a scrappy team that feeds off of energy from our bench, and they really get us going. I’m very proud of our team since we definitely came together in the second and third sets.”
In the third set, Lockport went up 10-7, but Anderson answered with four straight service points to put the Indians ahead for good at 12-10. The Porters got to within a point on two occasions before Minooka began to pull away, as Kropke had two kills down the stretch and Alessio served the final points.