Foresters Outlast Monmouth for First MWC Victory

Photo by Emily Baer
Photo by Emily Baer

Junior Olivia Smith established a new career-high with 24 kills as Lake Forest hosted and defeated Monmouth College 24-26, 27-25, 24-26, 25-18, 15-7 Friday night.

Smith's kill total matched the ninth-highest mark in program history and she added 15 digs on the night for her eighth double-double as a Forester. She now has 59 kills and 30 digs in three career matches against the Fighting Scots.

Fellow junior Isabel Donnelly also filled up the stat sheet, setting one career-high with seven blocks and matching two others with 15 kills and seven digs. Classmate Olivia Drevs also reached double figures with a career-high-tying 12 kills.

Smith was one of four Foresters with at least 10 digs on the night. Freshman Izzi Visnjevac led the team with 33 while senior Olivia Rhodes tallied 20. Both marks were career-highs. Senior Allison Trutna chipped in with 11 and the Lake Forest's total of 117 was the program's highest in more than 11 years.

Visnjevac also led the home team with four aces while freshman Haley Bryant added three.

Rhodes racked up a team-high 35 assists in the contest while junior Hannah Nauert recorded 21 and Visnjevac reached double figures for the first time with 10.

Lake Forest led by five points early in the opening set but later trailed by six. Monmouth was ahead 20-15 before Smith and Donnelly combined for five kills and Visnjevac added an ace during a six-point run that gave the Foresters the lead. The teams alternated taking the next six points, setting up a set point for Lake Forest. The Fighting Scots then rallied for three in a row to take the lead in the match.

Monmouth won the first four points of set two and was ahead by four again at 12-8. The Foresters then doubled up their guests 16-8 over the next 24 serves, setting up another set point opportunity at 24-20 for the home team. The Scots rallied once again, taking the next five points to take a 25-24 lead. Just as the visitors did in the first, Lake Forest came back with three in a row to even the match at one set apiece.

The third set was close throughout and involved another comeback near the end. The Scots trailed 23-20 before a 4-0 run put them back on top. The Foresters fought off one set point opportunity but not a second as Monmouth recorded another 26-24 victory.

A 9-1 run by the Foresters in set four turned a three-point deficit into a 12-7 lead. Monmouth closed back to within two on four different occasions, the last at 19-17, but Lake Forest took six of the next seven points to thwart another comeback attempt.

The teams split the first 10 points of set five before Lake Forest won the next five and 10 of the final 12 to earn the victory. Bryant had three kills during the decisive run and Rhodes finished off the match with an ace.

The Foresters improved to 8-12 overall this season and 1-3 in Midwest Conference play while Monmouth fell to 10-12 overall and 2-4 in the league.

Lake Forest will host another conference match against Knox College Saturday afternoon at 1:00.