MADISON, Wis. – The fifth-ranked Harper College volleyball team fell for a third time this season to No. 1 Madison College, losing in straight sets (14-25, 20-25, 18-25).
The Hawks (24-17, 8-4 N4C) fell behind 16-9 in the first game against the nation's top team and could not mount a comeback. Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) led the Harper defense with six digs while the offense struggled with only eight kills.
Harper came out stronger in the second game, taking leads of 8-5, 12-9 and 16-13. However, the WolfPack responded with a 6-0 run and went on to win the game. Libero Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) led the Hawks with 11 digs.
Harper played well in the third set, but it wasn't enough for victory. Setter Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) had seven assists while Spychala added six digs for a team-high 22 digs in the match.
"Madison's offense and their defense were very effective," said Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet. "Their serve receive was very effective, as nobody on Harper served more than 10 times in the match."
Outside hitter Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) led the Hawks' attack with six kills on 24-for-26 hitting. Murphy handed out 19 assists in a losing effort.
"We have improved greatly this year, and we are ranked No. 5 to prove it," Vilsoet said. "Evidently, Madison has improved too and appropriately is ranked No. 1, still."
The Hawks travel to Rockford this weekend for the Kishwaukee Invitational. They play five matches in two days against high-quality competition. For a full schedule, click here.