HOLLAND, MICH. -- The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology volleyball team finished 3-1 at the Great Midwest Challenge to improve to 17-7 on the season.
The Fightin' Engineers defeated Illinois Wesleyan in five sets on Friday, then dropped a three-set decision to No. 14 ranked Hope.
On Saturday, Rose-Hulman topped Kalamazoo College in four sets early in the day, then returned to top Albion College in three sets.
Against Illinois Wesleyan, Rose-Hulman battled from behind in the fifth set to claim a 25-22, 25-13, 21-25, 22-25, 16-14 win. Senior Karah Hickman (Hobart) led the Engineers with 12 kills and six block assists. Junior Anna Lewer (Indianapolis/Lutheran) pitched in with 10 kills and 13 digs.
Senior Leah Pelzel (Loveland, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) had 22 assists and 18 digs, along with eight kills. Senior Casey Levitt (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake) closed the match with a block on her birthday and had 17 digs, nine kills and three blocks. Junior Erika McGuire (Indianapolis/Warren Central) contributed 18 digs. Sophomore Catherine Fiutem (Harrison, Ohio/Oldenburg Academy) added seven kills and four block assists.
No. 14 ranked Hope College showed its strength in a 25-11, 25-12, 25-133 win. Lewer, senior Morgan Williams (Fenton, Mich./Powers Catholic) and Levitt led the effort with five kills each. Pelzel added 12 assists.
Rose-Hulman opened Sunday play with a 24-26, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18 victory over Kalamazoo. Levitt paced the attack with 15 kills, and Lewer pitched in 13 kills with 20 digs. Pelzel contributed 22 assists and 11 digs, with Williams adding nine kills and three blocks.
The Fightin' Engineers topped Albion 25-8, 25-18, 25-10 in the finale. Hickman recorded 11 kills and four blocks to lead Rose-Hulman, with Lewer smashing 10 kills. Sophomore Kate Dangel (Upper Arlington, Ohio) contributed 10 digs. Sophomore Kira Boswell (Ames, Iowa) led the team with 17 assists, and Pelzel had 15.
Rose-Hulman continues the best start to a season in volleyball school history at 17-7 overall and is 4-1 in HCAC action. The Fightin' Engineers host Mount St. Joseph in a key match for conference positioning on Wednesday night.