PALATINE, Ill. – The sixth-ranked Harper College volleyball team continued their strong play over the weekend, winning all four of their matches at the Harper College Invite Saturday to complete a 5-0 week.
Harper vs. Elgin Community College
In the first match on Saturday morning, the Hawks (19-15) earned a straight sets victory (25-16, 25-8, 25-15) over Elgin Community College.
In game one, the Hawks held leads of 5-2, 10-6 and 17-11 before putting away the Spartans. Melina Villaber (Chicago, Ill./Taft) and Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) each had six kills in the game while Murphy set the Harper attack with 11 assists.
In game two, the Hawks raced out to leads of 8-3 and 20-7 en route to an easy victory. Villaber and Madison Rodriguez (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) contributed four kills apiece, and Rebekah Hischke (Algonquin, Ill./Dundee Crown) was a flawless 11-for-11 serving with three service aces.
In the third game, the Hawks maintained control throughout, holding leads of 13-7, 18-12 and 21-14. Murphy finished the match with 33 assists to go along with eight digs and four service aces.
Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) tallied her fifth double-double of 2013 with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Harper vs. Rock Valley
After splitting their first two matches in N4C play with defending national champ and seventh-ranked Rock Valley this season, the Hawks won a four-set battle over the Golden Eagles (24-26, 25-22, 25-13, 25-23).
The two teams were tied eight times in a back-and-forth first set before Rock Valley pulled out the win. Harper trailed 16-10 in the second set but finished on a 15-6 run to tie the match at 1-1.
The Hawks carried the momentum over to the third set, racing out to leads of 5-1, 14-7 and 21-10. Villaber and Rodriguez each contributed four kills. Harper emerged victorious in a tightly-contested fourth set, led by Villaber's five kills and libero Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove)'s seven digs.
Two Hawks – Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) (14 digs, 39 assists) and Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) (13 kills, 19 digs) – recorded double-doubles in the win.
Harper vs. Carl Sandburg College
Harper needed four sets to take care of Carl Sandburg, winning 25-16, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-19.
The Hawks had control of the first set and were led by sophomores Hischke and Dabrowski, who had five kills apiece, made possible by the excellent setting of Murphy (14 assists).
Murphy added to her total with 13 more assists in the second set, but it wasn't enough in the narrow defeat.
Harper won a thrilling third set that was close throughout. With the two teams tied at 22-22, the Hawks won the final three points for the win. Messner was all over the court, recording six kills and 14 digs, and Spychala also played a big role for the defense with nine digs. Murphy once again put on a setting display with 16 more assists.
In the fourth set, the Hawks jumped out to a 16-10 advantage and didn't relinquish the lead. For the match, Murphy (11 digs, 54 assists), Messner (12 kills, 20 digs) and Hischke (15 kills, 18 digs) all tallied double-doubles. Murphy's 54 assists was one assist short of the Harper College record for assists in a four-game match.
Harper vs. McHenry County College
After dropping the first set, Harper rebounded to pick up a four-set victory over MCC (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-13). In the second set, libero Claire Fluegel (West Dundee, Ill./Elgin Academy) led the defense with seven digs while right side Morgan Peterson (Roselle, Ill./Conant ) added six digs.
The Hawks held a narrow 19-18 lead in the third set before pulling away for the victory. Murphy led Harper with 16 assists.
In the final set of the weekend, Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) capped it off with three consecutive services aces to win the match and extend the Hawks' win streak to a season-high five matches. Dabrowski powered the Harper attack with 21 kills while Murphy had 37 assists in the victory.
Outside hitter/middle hitter Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) and outside hitter Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) were both named to the Harper College Invitational All-Tournament Team for their performances over the course of the day.
Thoughts from Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet
"The hard work in practice is paying off," he said. "I hope the players are as proud of themselves as I am of them."
The Hawks return to action on Thursday as they take on N4C foe College of DuPage at 6:00 PM. Note the match will be played at the Central Athletic Center in Wheaton rather than on campus in Glen Ellyn.