Lake Forest Drops Another Close One at Benedictine

Photo by Abby King
Photo by Abby King

Sophomore Isabel Donnelly led the team with 10 kills but the Foresters suffered their fourth five-set loss of the young season Friday night at Benedictine University.

The home team won the opening set 25-22 but Lake Forest took the second 25-20 and the third 26-24. The Eagles routed the Foresters 25-12 in the fourth and edged them out 19-17 in the fifth.

Benedictine led by as many as six early in the first but Lake Forest closed to within a point at 11-10 and against at 15-14. The margin grew back to five before shrinking to two at 23-21 and 24-22. A final kill by the Eagles then finished the set.

The Foresters won the first three points of set two and were ahead throughout. Their lead eventually grew to as many as eight points at 19-11 and a kill by sophomore Olivia Smith followed by a Benedictine attack error closed out the set.

An ace by senior libero Emily Witz gave Lake Forest the largest lead of set three at 17-12 but the Eagles won eight of the next 10 points to pull ahead 20-19. The score was tied at 21, 22, and 24 before a second straight kill by Smith and another ace by Witz put the Foresters on top two sets to one.

Lake Forest won consecutive points just once in the fourth set while Benedictine gradually pulled away and won it by 13.

The Foresters jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth and deciding set but the Eagles pulled ahead by taking six of the next seven points. The home team led 14-9 before Lake Forest, with no margin for error, rattled off five straight points to tie the score. The visitors escaped again at 15-14, 16-15, and 17-16 but were unable to fight off Benedictine's ninth match point opportunity.

Donnelly's team-high 10 kills were followed by nine from Smith, eight by junior Olivia Rhodes, and seven from junior Hannah Hornacek. Witz led all players with six aces, two more than the entre Benedictine team, and she paced the Foresters with 19 digs. Freshman Allison Trutna and sophomore Hannah Nauert also reached double figures in digs with 11 apiece and Nauert led Lake Forest with 23 assists. Senior Morgan Malte had four blocks.

The Foresters fell to 4-7 this season while Benedictine improved to 6-3.

Lake Forest will be back in action Saturday afternoon at 1:00 against visiting Dominican University.

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