WHITEWATER, Wis. – The Harper College volleyball team split its four matches at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Volleyball Invitational over the weekend. Each match in the invitational was a best-of-three sets match rather than the usual best-of-five sets format.
The Hawks (6-5, 1-1) began the day with a convincing straight sets victory over fellow N4C member Milwaukee Area Technical College (25-15, 25-8). Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) led the Hawks with seven kills and an incredible seven service aces. Morgan Peterson (Roselle, Ill./Conant ) led Harper with seven digs, while Valerie Bazemore (Houston, Tex./Keller) recorded 16 assists.
In the second match of the day, the Hawks fell in a close match to the University of Wisconsin-Osh Kosh JV squad (21-25, 22-25). Melina Villaber (Chicago, Ill./Taft) paced the Hawks with eight kills on 16-of-17 hitting.Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) played an all-around solid game, going 14-of-14 serving with two aces while tallying nine digs and contributing 13 assists. Villaber and libero Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) each reached double figures in digs with 16 and 10, respectively.
Harper fell in its third match of the day to a strong Waubonsee Community College team (20-25, 14-25). The Hawks totaled 46 digs in the match, led by Dabrowski's 15.
"Waubonsee will be ranked in D2 soon," said Harper coach Bob Vilsoet.
In the final match of the day, the Hawks pulled off a thrilling three-set victory over the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater JV team (27-29, 27-25, 15-12). The match was back and forth, with overtime needed to decide the outcome of the first two games. Madison Rodriguez (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) had a team-high seven kills and three key blocks. Harper played stellar defense throughout the match and totaled 50 digs, led by Spychala's team-high 16 digs. Murphy directed the offense with 23 assists.
"This was a fun tournament and very worthwhile experience," Vilsoet said. "We improved greatly playing here today. As a coach, it is fun watching the individuals begin to turn into a team and the players improve right in front of my eyes."