Foresters Fall in Final Two Matches of the Season

Foresters Fall in Final Two Matches of the Season

Junior setter Lexi Kleva finished the day with 68 assists but the Lake Forest College volleyball team was defeated 25-17, 25-17, 25-16 by Aurora University and 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 26-14 by Wisconsin Lutheran College at Saturday's Benedictine University Eagle Classic.

Kleva had 24 assists in the three-set loss to Aurora. Sophomore outside hitter Grace Larson led the Foresters with seven kills and eight digs and her three aces tied freshman right side hitter Hannah Hornacek for team-high honors.

Aurora broke a 9-9 tie in the opening set with the first of six straight points. The margin was at least two the rest of the way and the Spartans closed out the set with five points in a row.

Lake Forest led by as many as two points early in the second set. The score was tied at nine again before an 11-2 run by Aurora created a deficit the Foresters could not overcome.

The decisive run in set three came early on as Aurora jumped out to a 16-4 lead. The Foresters came back and pulled to within five points at 21-16 but the Spartans answered with a four-point run to finish off the match.

Larson posted her 11th double double of the season against Wisconsin Lutheran, completing the match with 13 digs and a team-high 16 kills. She led the Foresters with 271 kills and 46 aces on the season. Senior outside hitter Paige Jespersen also reached double figures with 11 kills and as many digs on Saturday for her eighth double-double of the year. Kleva tallied 44 assists, senior Maxie Mottlowitz had a team-high five blocks, and senior libero Briahna Havis led Lake Forest with 17 digs and three aces. Senior middle blocker Brittany Avonts had nine kills and four blocks in the contest and finished her career ranked third in program history with 339 blocks and ninth with 878 kills.

Wisconsin Lutheran broke a 4-4 tie in the opening set with a seven point run and won five points in a row later on to take a 22-14 lead. The Foresters rattled off six straight points of their own to pull to within two but got no closer.

Lake Forest jumped out to an 11-6 lead in set two. The Warriors were able to close to within a point but the Foresters did not relinquish their lead. Back-to-back kills by Jespersen finished off the set.

The Foresters had a 15-11 lead in the third set before Wisconsin Lutheran won 12 of the next 13 points. The Warriors soon finished off the set to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

Wisconsin Lutheran won nine of the first 11 points in set four but Lake Forest pulled back to within two at 12-10 and again at 13-11. After a 7-1 run put the Warriors ahead 20-12, the Foresters rattled off eight straight points to tie the score. Lake Forest had a set point opportunity at 24-23 but dropped the next three points and the match.

Lake Forest finished the season 7-17 while Aurora improved to 25-8 and Wisconsin Lutheran to 14-15.

Avonts, Jespersen, and Havis will be the team's lone graduates in May.

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