West Burlington, IA-
The Blackhawks played 6 away games and won 5 out of those 6 to boost their record 17-10. Wednesday's Region XI Conference match against Ellsworth went to 4 sets helping the Blackhawks Conference record 3-2 where they currently sit tied for 4 of out 10 teams. "We've seen that Ellsworth is extremely capable and no team should be taken lightly in our Conference. Ellsworth took a set from Hawkeye the week prior and we knew going in that they would fight for every point," commented head coach Michelle Glass. Sophomore Rachel Malinowski had a high of 13 kills, 14 digs, 2 aces, and 1 block. Freshman Rachel Bingham followed with 11 kills, 11 digs, and 1 block. Defensively freshman libero Melodee Schulte had 22 digs and Kennedy Good added 12 digs with 3 aces. Offensively freshman setter Jenna Saad had 32 assists. The Blackhawks served tough with 8 aces for the match and their scrappy defense helped them take Ellsworth in 4 sets (25-12, 16-25, 25-15, 25-21).
Along with their Conference match the Blackhawks travelled to South Holland for a tri against Bryant & Stratton (WI) and South Suburban Community College Friday evening and stayed to play in Saturday's Bulldog Digging for a Cure Tournament against Lake Michigan College and College of DuPage JV. Sunday's match was held in Palos Hills against no. 16 Moraine Valley Community College.
Friday against Bryant & Stratton (WI) the Blackhawks won in 4 (25-19, 25-17, 17-25, 25-17). Rachel Bingham led with 13 kills, 2 aces, passed a 2.29 on a 3 point scale on serve receive, had 3 solo blocks, and 15 digs. Kennedy Good had 4 aces with 29 serving attempts. Melodee Schulte added 3 aces while Jenna Saad had 25 assists. Passing Rachel Malinowski had a 2.50 with 15 digs and 3 solo blocks, Schulte had a 2.33 followed by 29 digs, and Kennedy Good had 24 digs. Lesieli Vaenuku had 4 solo blocks.
Freshman setter Jenna Saad recorded her third double-double for the season against South Suburban Community College with a sweep and 10 digs, 32 assists (25-9, 25-8, 25-13). Sophomore right-side and captain, Rachel Malinowski hit a career high .600 with 20 kills, with 2 errors off of 30 attempts. She also passed a 2.17 on a 3 point scale with 17 digs followed by 1 block and 1 ace. Defensively Melodee Schulte led with 24 digs, while Kennedy Good added 14 and Rachel Bingham with 11.
Against Lake Michigan College, the Blackhawks swept in 3 sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-22). Rachel Bingham led the way with 16 kills hitting a .371 followed by Kennedy Good with 10 kills. Rachel Malinowski earned 7 kills and led in digs with 20. Freshman libero Melodee Schulte added 14 followed by Rachel Bingham with 12 and Kennedy Good with 10. Lesieli Vaenuku and Rachel Malinowski had 3 solo blocks a piece. Jenna Saad had 32 assists. Kennedy Good and Melodee Schulte each passed a 2.67 on a 3 point scale on serve receive.
Against College of DuPage Junior Varsity won in 4 (25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16). Rachel Bingham led with 17 kills and passed a 2.68 on a 3 point scale doubling with 17 digs and 2 aces. Rachel Malinowski was close behind with 11 kills, 1 solo block, 2 assists, and 15 digs. Freshman setter Jenna Saad had her second double-double for the weekend with 42 assists, 10 digs, 1 solo block, and 1 ace. Freshman outside hitter Kennedy Good had 19 digs while Melodee Schulte led defense with 22 digs.
The most exciting game of the week was Sunday's 5 set thriller against ranked no. 16 Moraine Valley (25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 22-25, 12-15). Early in the first set the Blackhawks gained momentum after tying up the game 11-11 and continued battled between a 2 point difference until breaking away at 18-18 and finishing 3 points ahead of the Cyclones. Rachel Bingham led with 21 kills (.278 hitting percentage) adding 15 digs and 1 ace for the match, followed by Rachel Malinowski with 14 kills, 1 block, and led defense with 27 digs. Sophomore libero Melodee Schulte added 19 digs. Kennedy Good had 8 kills and 9 digs followed by 1 ace. Caitlin Good stepped in as a serving specialist and led behind the line with 23 serving attempts. Freshman setter Jenna Saad recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 10 digs, 2 solo blocks, and 44 assists. Jenna Saad and freshman outside hitter Kennedy Good each recorded 19 serving attempts behind the line. The Blackhawks tied up the fifth set 7-7 by a kill from Rachel Malinowski and a tipping error by the Cyclones. However, the Blackhawks could not recover from their errors and lost the fifth on an error by a 3 point deficit. "This was the type of game that we showed up to play and took a ranked team to 5. We are right there. We did our part and it's unfortunate that we could not bundle our points and eliminate our errors to take home the win," commented head coach Michelle Glass.
The Blackhawks play again tonight vs no. 7 (NJCAA DI) Indian Hills in Ottumwa, IA at 7pm. The Indians are currently on a 19 game winning streak. The Blackhawks next home game is this Wednesday vs DMAAC at 7pm.