Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hawks Triumphant over Joliet on Sophomore Night

Volleyball: Team 2013
Harper defeated Joliet in straight sets on Sophomore Night. (Jim Cummins)
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College volleyball team flipped the script on Joliet Junior College, earning a three-set victory on Sophomore Night Tuesday night (25-12, 25-18, 25-14). After the Wolves had bested the Hawks in their two previous meetings, the Hawks sought revenge and got exactly that on a night that Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet described as 'truly a special night for the six sophomores'.

In game one, Harper (15-15, 6-3 N4C) jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and extended it to 12-7 on an amazing dig from sophomore libero Kelly Spychala (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove). The Hawks stretched the lead to 17-11 and won eight of the final nine points to secure a victory. Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) led Harper with four kills in the set, and setter Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) paced the Hawks with nine assists.

Game two was no different, as the Hawks led 3-0, 7-2, 14-9, and 17-11 before emerging victorious, 25-18. Sophomore outside hitter Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) had four kills and five digs in the set, and Murphy played a solid set with nine assists and 7-for-7 serving. Spychala contributed six digs to add to her nation-leading total.

"I'd like to think that our team typically improves more than others. It was nice to see proof of that tonight," Vilsoet said.

In the match clincher, Harper jumped out to leads of 9-1, 15-4 and 20-7 before coasting to victory. Dabrowski had five more kills and five digs while Murphy had 12 more assists.

Dabrowski recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs. Sophomores Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) (eight kills), Madison Rodriguez (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) (seven kills), Alyse Kolner (Crystal Lake, Ill./Marion Central) (six kills) and Rebekah Hischke (Algonquin, Ill./Dundee Crown) (two kills) all played key roles in the victory.

"Tonight's match left us with a very good feeling. I wish we could replicate how we played tonight in every match," Vilsoet said. "I believe we will all remember this match for a long time."

After defeating Rock Valley last week, the Hawks moved up to No. 6 in the national rankings. Harper hosts its last tournament this Saturday, the Harper College Invite. Rock Valley College, McHenry County College, Elgin Community College and Carl Sandburg College will all be competing.

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