PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College volleyball team earned a decisive three-set victory (25-7, 25-9, 25-12) over visiting Triton College in the Region IV Quarterfinals on Wednesday night to pick up their 30th win of the season. With the win, the Hawks advance to the Region IV Semifinals on Saturday to take on defending national champion Rock Valley.
"We played well tonight. We also very much appreciate the family, friends, and fan support," said Harper head coach Bob Vilsoet. "It is a nice volleyball environment here at Harper College. I'm truly honored to be a part of it."
In the first set, the Hawks (30-20) jumped out to a 13-4 lead and extended it to 20-7 before winning 25-7. Alex Messner (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Fremd) led the Harper attack with five kills while Rebekah Hischke (Algonquin, Ill./Dundee Crown) added four kills on five attacks. Setter Lindsey Murphy (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Crystal Lake South) contributed 12 assists.
After capturing the first set, Harper took an 11-7 lead in the second set and used an 8-0 run to extend it to 19-7. Katherine Milla (Honduras/CEAD Christian School) served an ace to win the set and also handed out nine assists to go along with three service aces. Melina Villaber (Chicago, Ill./Taft) provided a strong hitting presence, going 7-for-7 with five kills. Anna Lanier (Dominican Republic/Home School) had her serve working, going 7-for-8 with four aces.
The Hawks built a 17-7 lead in the third set and stretched it out to 23-10 behind some stellar serving from Veronica Dabrowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Rolling Meadows) (7-for-8, four aces). Outside hitter Alyse Kolner (Crystal Lake, Ill./Marion Central), who played middle in the third set, went 8-for-10 hitting with five kills. Setter Valerie Bazemore(Houston, Tex./Keller) tallied 12 assists in the match clincher.
Dabrowski led the Hawks with 10 kills in her final home match.
"The players have absolutely been model citizens all year long. This will be a difficult team to say goodbye to at the end of the season," Vilsoet said. "But their accomplishments these past two years were amazingly successful. Two 30-win seasons and two fifth place finishes in the coaches' poll. Nice job!"
If the Hawks defeat Rock Valley on Saturday morning, they will take on the winner of the DuPage/Madison match for the Region IV Championship at 1 PM. The winner of the Region IV Championship will advance to the NJCAA National Championship in Rochester, Minn.