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The Lakeland College men's volleyball team (13-1, 3-0 WVC) nearly escaped Saturday's Midwest 10 Tournament undefeated with their only match loss coming at the hands of UW-Oshkosh, ranked No. 1 in the Nation.
The Muskies began the day with a victory over Iowa State (25-13, 25-22) as senior outside hitter Matt Martin recorded eight kills, four digs and two blocks aided by junior middle hitter Avdo Omerbegovic with six kills and three blocks. Next the squad rolled over UW-Milwaukee (25-9, 25-17) with junior middle hitter Jared Rohland contributing five kills and two blocks and sophomore outside hitter Joe Julkowski adding four kills and six digs.
Against Illinois State, Lakeland suffered its first game loss of the tournament and needed three games to get the match win (25-22, 20-25, 15-8). Sophomore setter Matt Clemens helped boost the Muskies' offensive drive with 24 assists, while also providing six digs and four blocks. Senior defensive specialist Erich Steinhaus held up the defensive end with 12 digs and the team as a whole went for 20 blocks in the match.
In the Muskies' match loss to UW-Oshkosh (15-25, 22-25) Martin tallied six digs and two kills while Julkowski tallied three kills, digs and blocks.
"We did a role reversal over last weekend's performance where we started slow and finished strong," said head coach Chad Schreiber. "Today we got into a rut with our serve receive in the Illinois State match and let that carry over into the Oshkosh match. Combine that with Oshkosh's tough serving and we were already fighting an uphill battle. We put a run together, but much too late."
Despite the loss, the squad was able to quickly regain enough of its composure to defeat Marquette in a close match (25-20, 20-25, 17-15). Martin led the offense and defense with 11 kills and 14 digs while Omerbegovic recorded 10 kills.
"We had a chance to end the day on a high note," Schreiber said. "But after a great first game against Marquette, complacency sucked the momentum away and we had to claw out a win. Today exposed some things we were concerned about, so hopefully it puts some urgency into fixing them."
The Muskies will return to Wisconsin Volleyball Conference action with a home match on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 12 p.m.