OGLESBY, Ill. –The Harper College volleyball team fell to Joliet Junior College and Waubonsee Community College on Saturday before rebounding to pick up a victory over Elgin Community College and finish the day with a 1-2 record at the Illinois Valley Invitational.
On Saturday morning, the Hawks (10-10) edged Waubonsee in a tight first game but dropped the next three to the Chiefs (25-23, 22-25, 18-25, 20-25). Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) led the Harper attack with a team-high 11 kills and added six blocks, while Rebekah Hischke (Algonquin, Ill./Dundee Crown) smashed 10 kills for the Hawks.
Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) played a solid all-around match as she handed 26 assists to go with seven digs and a perfect 23-for-23 serving match with two aces. Libero Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) kept several points alive and finished the match with 23 digs.
"We have to run and execute our plays and be more precise in our set locations," said Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet. "Although improved, we are still inconsistent. Waubonsee has turned into an elite team this past year."
For a second time this year, the Hawks fell in four sets to Joliet Junior College (22-25, 25-18, 26-28, 22-25) in a match they were outscored by a total of one point. Hischke (15 kills, 10 digs) and Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) (12 kills, 14 digs) each recorded double-doubles in the defeat. Dabrowski was once again a disruptive force around the net, totaling six blocks for a second straight match.
Murphy once again guided the offense with 30 assists, and Spychala led the Harper defense with 25 digs.
"We will continue to focus on our consistency," Vilsoet said. "Joliet played with more passion than we did this time around, but when we will play well, we can be very good."
In the final match of the weekend, the Hawks bounced back and defeated Elgin Community College 3-1 (25-13, 25-18, 20-25, 25-9). Dabrowski could not be defended, as she put down a season-high 22 kills to go with 11 digs.
Murphy directed the offense with 31 assists, and Morgan Peterson (Roselle, Ill./Conant ) led the Harper defense with 12 digs. Murphy and Claire Fluegel (West Dundee, Ill./Elgin Academy) served up seven combined aces against the Spartans.
"This was a fun match. Consistency dogged us again when we lost game three. But clearly, as the score indicates, we played well again in game four."
The Hawks welcome N4C opponent Milwaukee Area Technical College to Palatine on Tuesday night. First serve is scheduled for 6:00 PM in the gym of the Wellness & Sports Center (Building M).