Seniors Emily Witz and Grace Larson set career-highs with 33 digs and 27 kills, respectively, but the Forester volleyball team was defeated 25-23, 25-21, 18-25, 16-25, 15-13 at Wheaton College Wednesday night.
Both players' previous career-highs were 25, which Witz posted a year ago and Larson last Friday. Larson also added 13 digs and five aces and Witz six assists on Wednesday.
Sophomore Isabel Donnelly, who led the visitors with five blocks, was also next on the team in kills with a dozen while classmate Olivia Smith added nine to go with 10 digs and three aces. Junior Olivia Rhodes tallied 48 assists on the night, giving her 143 in the Foresters' last three matches combined.
Lake Forest trailed by as many as seven points in the opening set but pulled back to within one at 22-21 and again at 23-22 and 24-23 before the Thunder earned set point.
The Foresters led 16-12 in set two before dropping five straight points. They won the next three points to regain the lead and were ahead by two again at 21-19 before a 6-0 run by Wheaton gave the home team a two-set advantage.
The visitors jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set and used a 7-1 run later on to pull ahead extend the margin to 11 at 22-11. The Thunder closed to within six at 23-17 and 24-18 before an attack error ended the set.
Set four was close early on but four three-point runs by the Foresters separated by single tallies by the home team made the score 21-11. Wheaton won the next three points but neither team served twice in a row the rest of the way and a kill by Smith finished off the set and tied the match.
The Thunder won the first four points of the fifth set and pulled out to a 10-3 lead. Lake Forest battled back, however, and fought off three consecutive match points before a service error ended the contest.
The five-set loss was the sixth of the season for the Foresters, who are now 7-10 overall. Wheaton improved to 10-6.
Lake Forest will begin Midwest Conference play at Knox College at 1:00 Saturday afternoon.