MINOOKA — Skyler Day saved all but two of her 12 kills for the second game Tuesday night. It may not be coincidence that Minooka needed them most then.
Of Day's 10 kills in Game 2, four came with the score 24-24 or later. Each proved critical in a game the Indians won 29-27. They also edged the Wolves in the first game, 25-23.
"That's just a situation where my team needed me so I had to step it up," Day said. "It's definitely just confidence, being confident in myself and how I'm hitting the ball. It's just love. I love my team, and in those moments where they need me, I have to step up my game for them."
The Indians trailed 24-23 when a Day had a sideout kill and a dominating back-row kill on her own service point to give Minooka the lead. East took the advantage right back thanks to back-to-back kills from Layne Hillesland, but Day countered with a sideout kill of her own to tie the score again.
Raven Burns killed a service point for Jessica Karalow before a service error gave East another life. That time, it did not last, as a Day sideout kill was followed by a Gabriella Shepherd serve that the Wolves hit into the rafters and were unable to control after it came down.
"She is on right now. She is coming off a 24-kill night last Thursday at Oswego," Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher said of Day. "She's finally figuring it out in the sense that she's always sure where she is and what she needs to do. She's really been a leader for us athletically."
Minooka led for most of the first game, with its edge growing as large as 22-17 on a Day service point, killed by Burns. East responded with five straight points to draw even on a Nicole Burge sideout kill and four service points from Hailey Aguilar. Burns ended the run with a kill, and Karalow served the Indians one point away from victory. Another service error delayed their celebration, but Burns put the game away with a kill with East's Nicole Bertrand serving.
Early in the season, the Indians often struggled at the service line. They made 10 service errors to go with 13 hitting errors Tuesday, though according to Hoelscher, the mistakes were atypical of their recent play.
"We've been better lately," Hoelscher said. "Tonight, we took what I'm hoping is a one-time step backward in that regard, but we haven't had serving problems lately until tonight."
Day served up five points and an ace and added three digs for the Indians, who at 8-3 are in second place in the Southwest Prairie Conference. Burns had five kills, and Tessa Griparis had three. Kasey Schumaker served up two aces and led the team in digs with 11, and Brenna Perinar totaled a Minooka-high 13 assists.
"We've used a number of different rotations throughout this year," Hoelscher said. "We've used the same lineup for the last two weeks, so we're finally figuring it out."
Minooka also won the sophomore match, 25-15, 25-16, improving to 18-4 overall and 11-0 in the SPC at that level.