Freshman Olivia Smith pounded out a season-high 15 kills and added 14 digs in the Lake Forest College volleyball team's 25-23, 25-20, 27-25 victory over Illinois College at home Friday night.
Smith committed just two attack errors and posted a .394 hitting percentage during her third double-double of the season. Fellow freshman Isabel Donnelly also reached double figures with 10 kills and recorded a .350 hitting percentage in the contest. Junior Grace Larson led the home team with 16 digs while freshman setter Hannah Nauert chipped in with 11 to go with her 29 assists. Senior Maxie Mottlowitz finished with nine blocks, matching the career-high she set at Illinois College last year, and classmate Natalie Olson served up three aces and added four blocks.
The Foresters' first lead of the night did not com until late in the opening set when Smith's only ace of the match broke a 19-19. The Lady Blues tied the score at 20, 21, and 22 before a kill by Donnelly and an Illinois College hitting error set up two opportunities at set point. The home team converted the second of those chances on a kill by Smith.
Lake Forest jumped out to a 5-0 lead in set two but the visitors took seven of the next eight points and the lead. The Foresters broke a 9-9 tie with another five-point run and remained ahead for the rest of the set. The margin grew to as many as six points at 18-12 and was never less than three. Smith closed out the second set the same way she did the first.
Illinois College led by four again early in set three but the home team battled back and tied the score at 14. After back-to-back points for the visitors, the teams traded five-point runs to make the score 21-19 in favor of the Lady Blues. The Foresters trailed by two again at 23-21 before a kill and two blocks by Mottlowitz created a match point opportunity. Illinois College, however, tied the score at 24 and, after another Mottlowitz block, drew even again at 25. Lake Forest had a third opportunity at set point and a kill by sophomore Hannah Hornacek converted to the delight of the home crowd.
The victory was the second of the week for the Foresters, who also won in three sets at Alverno College on Tuesday. The team is now 10-13 overall and 2-4 in Midwest Conference play this season. Illinois College fell to 10-14 overall and 3-5 in the league.
Lake Forest will attempt to win for the third time in five days when the team hosts Monmouth College Saturday afternoon at 1:00.