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updated: 4/4/2014 8:12 PM

Harper's Messner moves on to Chicago State

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By Jonathan Cregier

It has been a busy post-high school athletic career for former Harper volleyball player Alex Messner.

After her Fremd career was over, the 6-3 middle blocker committed to DePauw University before transferring to Harper.

In 2013, Messner was an all North Central Community College Conference selection for Harper, finishing second in the conference in both digs (474) and kills (346).

And now Messner is one of four new players joining the program at Chicago State, where she received a full academic scholarship and is studying criminal justice. Messner will play for the Cougars volleyball team in the fall and hopes to play a role in turning the program around; Chicago State was 2-29 last year and hopes to improve upon its 0-16 mark in the WAC.

Messner has spent most of her time in spring workouts in the back row.

"Everything on the court starts with a good pass," said Messner, who added that the biggest challenge so far has been getting into Division I volleyball shape.

• Joining Messner at the four-year level is first team All-American Veronica Dabrowski. The Rolling Meadows alum signed with NAIA member Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind., where she will be a pre-med major according to the BC website.

The Pilots went 27-14 last season, including 16-2 in the Crossroads League, where they were conference co-champions with Indiana Weslyan University. After winning the conference tournament, the Pilots advanced to nationals, falling a game short of reaching the semifinals.

In her two seasons with Harper, the two-time all-N4C choice helped lead the Hawks to a 67-36 mark. In 2013, the 6-foot middle hitter led the Hawks in kills (475), blocks (104) and aces (76). Also a first-team all-Region IV choice, Dabrowski totaled 335 digs.

• Rachel Payne, Harper's second-leading scorer in women's basketball the past two seasons, will extend her playing days at Judson University.

The Schaumburg Christian grad becomes the third Hawks product to sign with the NAIA program in recent years, following in the footsteps of Siobhan Cerney (Schaumburg) and Anna Kirchoff (Barrington). Kirchoff now serves as a student assistant at Judson.

The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference school located in Elgin went 5-13 last season in league play and 10-20 overall.

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