WHEATON, Ill. – The Harper College volleyball team won its first three matches at the College of DuPage 18thAnnual Classic Friday and Saturday before falling to No. 1 Madison College in the championship match of the tournament to finish second in the nine-team tournament.
"We are very proud of our accomplishments this weekend," said head coach Bob Vilsoet. We are truly a strong team ourselves, but still with a lot of additional potential."
In Friday's opener, the Hawks (4-2) earned a four-set victory over College of Lake County (25-13, 25-11, 23-25, 25-11). Right side hitter Alyse Kolner (Crystal Lake, Ill./Marion Central) had a team-high 14 kills, while middle hitter Madison Rodriguez (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) totaled 13 kills. Valerie Bazemore (Houston, Tex./Keller) was a force in the service game, going 30-for-32 with five aces. Bazemore also totaled a double-double with 42 assists and 11 digs. Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) led the Hawks with 24 digs in the match.
Harper continued its strong play Friday night with a sweep (25-11, 25-13, 25-16) of St. Louis – Florrisant Valley Community College. Five Hawks totaled at least five kills in the match, while Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) and Claire Fluegel (West Dundee, Ill./Elgin Academy) combined to go 30-for-30 serving with three aces.
"I was most happy with Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove)'s service receiving, and both setter's serving – Valerie Bazmore and Lindsay Murphy," Vilsoet said. "Claire Fluegel (West Dundee, Ill./Elgin Academy) came off the bench into her first match this year and was prepared and ready."
On Saturday morning, the Hawks beat Highland Community College in straight sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-22). Rodriguez led the Harper attack with nine kills and no hitting errors, while Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) and Bazemore were each 13-for-14 serving with two aces apiece. The setters set a balanced attack, with Bazemore recording 16 assists and Murphy tallying nine.
In the last match of the weekend, No. 1 Madison College defeated Harper in straight sets (17-25, 21-25, 14-25). Spychala led the Hawks with 17 digs in the match.
"Madison played its best match this weekend against us in the finals and looks like a very strong team this year," Vilsoet said.
Harper opens up N4C play with a match on Tuesday against defending national champion Rock Valley College. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 PM.