CHICAGO, Ill. - The Illinois Tech women's volleyball team won its first home match of the season on Friday night, emerging as victors in a thirlling match against Lake Forest College. After a tough third set to go down 2-1 and then facing match point in the fourth set, the Scarlet Hawks stormed back to even the match and then put away the Foresters in set five. The Scarlet Hawks moved to 2-8 with the non-conference win, while Lake Forest fell to 4-9.
Telling the Story
- The Scarlet Hawks took an evenly-matched first set, which foreshadowed the entire match. No team led by more than three throughout, with the Scarlet Hawks staying ahead until an Isabel Donnelly kill put the Foresters up 21-20 in the midst of a LFC 5-0 run. With the Scarlet Hawks facing set-point at 24-21, senior Alyssa Miner rattled off two straight kills to put within one, which was followed an ace from freshman Allison Wilkins to tie the set. The Foresters scored next on a kill from Grace Larson, but sophomore Justine Bracco recored three straight kills to end the set in Tech victory.
- In the second set, the Scarelt Hawks used a 6-0 run to take its largest lead of the match of five points at 9-4. The match would shift, however, after an LFC timeout with Tech ahead 22-17. The Foresters went on to score the set's final eight points, evening up the match at 1-1.
- Lake Forest would use this momentum into the third set, dominating Tech in the only quick set of the match.
- The Scarlet Hawks responded well in the fourth set, taking an early 8-5 lead before the set tightened. After ten total ties, the Foresters' found themselves at match point (26-25) after two of Grace Larson's match-high 25 kills. Tech scored the final three points of the set to win, highlighted by an incredible kill from freshman Mia Phelps which saw her set a ball diagonally across court right on the line. Phelps also had a service ace in the 3-0 closing run.
- In the fifth and final set, the Foresters would lead at 3-2 and then again at 6-5. However, a Phelps kills to put the Scarlet Hawks ahead 9-8 would vault a 3-0 that was enough to keep the Scarlet Hawks ahead. Kills from junior Courtney Darling, freshman Karen Marrufo-Zubaran, and Miner down the stretch sealed the deal, with Miner and Phelps combining for the match-ending block.
Scarlet Hawk Standouts
- Phelps played her best match of the season, lead the team with 12 kills while hitting .222%. She also had eight digs and three block assists.
- Darling, one of three setters to play in the match for Tech, played a solid all-around match with 22 assists, 19 digs, and two kills to catch the Forester defense by surprise.
- Defense was a big story for the Scarlet Hawks, as aside from Darling, junior Courtney Curcio (23), sophomore Sinjin Acuna (18), and Marrufo-Zubaran (18, 11 kills) all had double-digit digs.
- Miner led the team with a .350 hit percentage while contributing nine kills and two block assists.
- Junior Taylor Burton tallied 10 kills, a .208 hit %, and three total blocks (two solo, one assisted).
Stats to Know
- With several long rallies, an astounding 196 total digs were recorded (104 for Tech, 92 for LFC).
- The teams were dead-even in kills at 54 each. The Scarlet Hawks narrowly outhit the Foresters .128% to .119%.
- Tech won despite LFC holding big advantages in aces (11-2) and total blocks (8-5).
- The Scarlet Hawks resume Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at Marian University.