Lakeland men's volleyball falls just short of WVC title
Athletics - posted on 4/4/2009
The No. 4 Lakeland men's volleyball team dropped a heartbreaking 25-21, 21-25, 15-11 match to No. 3 UW-Oshkosh in the finals of the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Tournament at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Lakeland also finished as the runner-up in last weekend's Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Championships.
"Last week's MIVA finals match against Illinois was high-caliber, but today's finals match was filled with mistakes by both teams," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said. "The story for us was our missed serves."
The Muskies, who won last year's league tournament championship, beat Carthage (25-15, 25-17) in the quarterfinals and UW-Platteville (25-11, 25-22) in the semifinals on their way to a battle of national powerhouses.
"We were never really in rhythm on Saturday," Schreiber said. "We didn't have the focused effort that had been built up over the past couple of weeks."
Despite the loss, several Lakeland players were honored by the league for outstanding play during the tournament and regular season.
Senior captain Joe Julkowski (Carol Stream, Ill.) was named the conference's Most Valuable Player and made the All-Tournament team. The 6-foot-4 outside hitter finished as the WVC leader in kills per set.
Freshmen Mitch Wiskirchen (Schaumburg, Ill.) and Andrew Cheever (Milwaukee), the conference's leader in digs per set, were named to the All-Freshman team. Wiskirchen was also named to the league's first team and was an All-Tournament selection, while Cheever received honorable mention all-conference recognition.
Grad student Avdo Omerbegovic (Chicago, Ill.), who finished as the conference leader in blocks per set, received first team all-WVC accolades.
Freshman outside hitter Chris Guimon (Bartlett, Ill.), senior middle hitter Chris Plamann (Appleton) and junior right side hitter Dan Judkins (Kaukauna) were JV all-conference selections.
On Friday, Lakeland posted a 4-0 mark to wrap up its regular season. The Muskies defeated UW-Platteville (25-13, 25-14), UW-Stevens Point (25-15, 25-12), UW-Oshkosh (25-15, 25-20) and UW-La Crosse (19-25, 25-15, 15-12).
Lakeland returns to action at the NIRSA National Volleyball Championships starting on Thursday, April 9, and running through Satuday, April 11.
The Muskies enter the tournament as the defending national champions after knocking off Illinois in the finals last season.
Check back soon for a more complete recap.
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