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With the adrenaline of celebrating senior night and another opportunity to take a shot at knocking off the No. 1 team in the nation, the Lakeland College men's volleyball team certainly had a lot to play for as it faced Wisconsin Volleyball Conference rival UW-Oshkosh on Thursday night at home, sweeping the Titans in spectacular fashion, 3-0 (30-22, 32-30, 30-26).
The Muskies (31-5, 11-1 WVC), ranked No. 4 in the nation, had previously fallen to the Titans four times this season with an additional disappointing loss to them in the national championship title game in 2007. But, Lakeland's energy and determination were too much for Oshkosh, helping the Muskies knock off the Titans to tie them in the WVC with one loss apiece.
"It feels great because it's senior night and it's a little bit of revenge since we lost to them at nationals last year," said junior setter Matt Clemens. "We'll play them again for the WVC title at the conference tournament, which should be interesting."
A few of the Muskies' starters have battled with various injuries throughout the season, including Clemens, senior middle hitter Avdo Omerbegovic and senior outside hitter Matt Martin, but tonight everything finally came together.
"This is the first time all year we have been able to get everyone healthy, and I'm stoked to get this win for our seniors," Clemens said. "We blocked really well, passed the ball well and served really aggressive. They are a great hitting team, but we blocked the ball so well that it really helped us out."
Martin led the Muskies' offensive drive with 14 kills, while also helping out the squad's blocking efforts with six. Senior middle hitter Jared Rohland was also a key player at the net with 11 kills and eight blocks, while junior outside hitter Joe Julkowski added 10 kills, eight digs and five blocks.
The Muskies will continue their season at the MIVA Championships hosted by Ohio State in Columbus, Oh., March 29-30, where they may see the Titans again before facing off at the WVC Tournament April 4-5 at UW-La Crosse.
Match times and opponents for the MIVA Championships TBA.