PLAINFIELD – Despite the disparity in records, Minooka (25-7, 6-0) had its hands full against Plainfield Central (9-15, 2-4), but held on for the 25-18, 25-16 victory.
Minooka boys volleyball coach Mike Kargle knows that the subsectional of the Belleville East Sectional is up for grabs because of the field of talented schools.
Led by two of state’s top teams, Lincoln-Way West and Minooka have been regarded as two of the best all season. After Monday’s seeding meetings, coach Jodi Frigo’s Warriors got the No. 1 seed, and Minooka was named the No. 2 seed in the Belleville East Sectional.
The next five seeds in the 12-team bracket are Providence Catholic (No. 3), Oswego (No. 4), Plainfield North (No. 5), Plainfield East (No. 6) and Joliet Catholic Academy (No. 7).
The veteran Indians coach knows that no one will let down against Minooka since all the teams the subsectional are either in the the Southwest Prairie Conference or from Will County.
“Everyone came back that we expected from last season, and they’re a great group of guys who get together, and I have to push the right buttons now and then,” Kargle said. “Beside West, we’ve lost twice to Marist and split with Lincoln-Way East.”
Leading the Indians were Noah Easter (three kills, three blocks), Evan Faifer (six kills, two blocks), Shane Ooms (11 kills), AJ Lewis (five kills), Rafael Vieyra (10 assists) and Mack Tyrell (seven assists).
“As a senior, we definitely want to make sure of everything that we do, especially because it’s our last season, AJ (Lewis) and me,” Easter said. “And because I’ve been here, I’ll be playing in college at William Penn University, which is an NAIA school in Iowa.”
“We always know people on the other teams,” Faifer said. “We’re all trying to motivate each other so that we can go as far as we can.”
Central was led by Marc Arsenault (five kills), Jalen Denson (four kills), Harry Khaira (10 assists) and setter Ethan Sampson. Wildcats coach BJ Boldog was a standout setter and AVCA All-America second-team selection for Lewis University’s 2014 NCAA team that suffered a tough loss to Penn State in the quarterfinal match, which took place in Chicago.
“First of all, hats off to Minooka, who’s a really good team,” Boldog said. “They came in here, and we fought hard. We had a little bit of a scouting report on them, so we knew a couple of their tendencies that we could pick up on. But they did a really good job, so hats off to them, since it shows why they’re a top 10 team in the state.”