The Lawrence University volleyball team has hit a bit of a cold stretch after being near the top of the conference earlier in the season. Entering their Oct. 14 matchup against rival Ripon College, the Vikings had lost back-to-back conference matches and sat in fourth place behind St. Norbert, Beloit and the Red Hawks of Ripon. The two previous losses came in close, five-game matches, but Lawrence was less effective against Ripon. “We came out flat and just didn’t put up much of a fight. We will work hard in practice this week and be ready for Norbert,” said freshman Emma Kane, who has played in all but four of the Vikings’ games this season. The Red Hawks came out and quieted the Alexander Gymnasium crowd by taking a close first set 25-23. The usually boisterous crowd at Alex never got back into the game, and neither did the Vikings. Ripon took the next two games with less difficulty, winning them both 25-21. The loss drops the Vikings’ record back to .500 at 12-12 (3-3 MWC). While the Red Hawks are under .500 at 10-14 overall, Ripon is 4-2 this year in conference play behind the defense of senior All- Conference libero Sara Heim. The Vikings hosted St. Norbert Tuesday and will finish their season with seven straight road games, beginning with the UW-Eau Claire Invite Friday and Saturday.