Morton College’s appearance at the Wisconsin-Whitewater JV Quad finished on a strong note with the Panthers downing Northwestern College of Minnesota 25-12, 25-19 September 14 to place third of four teams.
With the victory, the Panthers (5-10) also matched their win total from last year. Morton College opened with losses to Bethel 25-13, 25-13 and host Whitewater 25-11, 25-15.
“Our first two opponents were a little bit taller than us, so we had a difficult time blocking,” Morton College coach Tom Malesky said. “In the third match, we started touching more balls and got on a little bit of a roll. That was good to see.”
All three matches were played consecutively. The Panthers used the 20 minutes between their last two matches to regroup.
“They were able to gather themselves, plus, we did a better job defensively,” Malesky said. “We enjoyed coming here – it was nice to see teams we don’t normally see.”
Yasmin Lopez led the Panthers with 14 kills and added 18 digs. Marlene Valadez (20 digs, 3 blocks), Samantha Rule (33 assists), Patrice Silas (8 kills), Cassie Tijerina (13 kills, 3 blocks) and Melissa Villafuerte (9 kills) also contributed.
The Panthers look to go to 2-0 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference with a match at Prairie State Tuesday, September 17, in Chicago Heights. Morton College defeated the Pioneers 25-22, 17-25, 16-14 at the South Suburban Tournament August 31.
“It was a close match and I’m sure Prairie State is looking for revenge,” Malesky said. “We’re looking to win two in a row against Prairie State.”
Morton College’s three-game win streak came to an end with a 2-1 overtime loss to Owens of Ohio September 14 in Cicero. The Panthers (4-2-1) play two Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference games this week – Tuesday, September 17 at Lake County and Thursday, September 19, against Oakton at home.
Morton College was the top community college team on the men’s side at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship September 13 in Kankakee. Overall, the Panthers were 10th in the 18-team field with 303 points.
Alan Guzman was 39th to pace Morton College. He toured the 8-kilometer course in 26:13.8.
On the women’s side, the Panthers were 15th in the 15-team field. Veronica Tovar was Morton College’s top runner with a 22:23.7, good for 76th place on the 5-kilometer course.