PALATINE, Ill. –The Harper College volleyball team earned a straight sets victory over conference opponent Triton College (25-15, 25-11, 25-16) on Thursday night before falling in four sets to Div. II Moraine Valley Community College (25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 16-25).
In the first match against Triton, Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) powered the team to victory with a team-high 12 kills. She nearly completed a double-double with nine digs and also added five service aces.
Rebekah Hischke (Algonquin, Ill./Dundee Crown) (11 kills) and Alyse Kolner (Crystal Lake, Ill./Marion Central) (10 kills) both notched double digit totals in kills for Harper (14-15, 5-3 N4C) in the winning effort. Setter Valerie Bazemore (Houston, Tex./Keller) led the team with 29 assists.
Against Moraine Valley, the Hawks played consistently with the lead and continued to earn sideouts until they pulled away at the end to win 25-21. The second set was also very close, with five ties along the way. Harper missed a crucial serve when the score was tied at 22-22, and Moraine Valley went on to win the game.
In the third set, the Hawks had a 19-15 advantage after an incredible dig by libero Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove). Harper later had a 23-19 edge but the Cyclones won the last six points of the game to take a 2-1 advantage in the match.
"They played brilliantly those last six points in a row," said Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet. "I suspect they became a better team as a result of that comeback, which was the point of playing a match like this against quality opponents."
Harper could not bounce back in the fourth set, missing serves and falling victim to a hard-hitting, well-coached Moraine Valley team.
"Both teams played well in this match. Somebody had to win," Vilsoet said. "We are a much better team at this point during the season than we started out. Even in the loss, our defense was spectacular and I was still very proud of how we played."
Three Hawks – Melina Villaber (Chicago, Ill./Taft) (12 kills, 12 digs), Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) (10 kills, 13 digs) and Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) (14 digs, 33 assists) – recorded double-doubles in defeat. Spychala led the team with 20 digs, followed closely by Morgan Peterson (Roselle, Ill./Conant ) with 18 digs.
The team's next match is Tuesday night at home against Joliet at 6:00 PM. It is Harper's last home weeknight match, and the Hawks will recognize their sophomores for their contributions to the program on Sophomore Night.