Lakeland athletics: Fall 2008 season in review
Athletics - posted on 12/15/2008
As we inch closer to 2009, let's take a look back at 2008 with a review of the fall sports season at Lakeland College. Collectively, it was a successful chapter for the Muskies, as four teams posted overall records at or above .500, with three of those four teams finishing in the top half of the Northern Athletics Conference.
: The women's volleyball team, led by head coach Chad Schreiber, finished with a 25-11 overall record and continued its dominance of the NAC. The Muskies posted a perfect 12-0 mark in the league's regular season on their way to a second consecutive conference championship.
The 25 wins ties the 2004 team for the second-highest win total in a single season in Lakeland history.
Lakeland earned the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament after taking the NAC Tournament title with a 25-20, 18-25, 28-26, 25-17 home win over Concordia, Wis., in the final match. Lakeland was defeated in the first round of the national tournament by top seed and regional host UW-Oshkosh, 25-19, 25-16, 25-19.
Schreiber earned his fifth-career conference coach of the year award, while seniors Heidi Kramer and Jessica Sparling, and juniors Brittanie Paulus and Kim Linger were selected first-team All-NAC by the league's coaches. Paulus, who led the team in kills (337), digs (444) and service aces (28), was
later named to the NCAA Division III All-Midwest Region team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She also garnered honorable mention All-America accolades from the AVCA.
Sparling, the team's starting setter, finished her career with 3,784 assists, good for third all-time at Lakeland and just one assist shy of former LC standout Lana Neuman '06. Linger's .762 hitting percentage against MSOE on Oct. 24 is the second-highest in school history, while Paulus recorded the second-most digs in one match with 33 in the NAC Tournament championship match against Concordia Wisconsin on Nov. 8.
: The football team put itself in position to play for the inaugural Northern Athletics Conference regular season championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs with three straight victories heading into the season finale against league-frontrunner Aurora. The Muskies fell just short, losing 24-6 to the Spartans at Aurora.
Head coach Kevin Doherty's squad finished the season at 5-5 overall, with a 5-2 record in NAC play, good for a second-place tie with Concordia, Wis. The highlight of the season for Lakeland came on Nov. 8, when the Muskies overwhelmed the rival Falcons, 37-7, at home in the annual Cheese Bowl. After Concordia scored on a fumble recovery in the game's opening minutes, the Muskies hit the accelerator and didn't look back. Senior wide receiver Matt Pawlyk led Lakeland with 150 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns.
Following the season, 12 players were named to the All-NAC team. The Muskies swept the league's top individual awards, as senior linebacker John Wagner was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Pawlyk received Offensive Player of the Year accolades. Wagner and Pawlyk were later named to the 2008 D3football.com All-North Region second team.
For the year, Pawlyk finished with 980 receiving yards, which is the second-most in a single season in Lakeland history. Sophomore quarterback Jake Dworak tied for fifth in school history with 22 touchdown passes in one season.
: The men's soccer team took a huge step forward in 2008, recording its first winning overall record (8-7-2, 6-3-2 NAC) since 1994 and finishing with an undefeated mark (4-0-2) in home matches for the season. The Muskies set Lakeland records with 51 goals and 33 assists in one season.
The Muskies also earned their second straight NAC Tournament bid, highlighted by a seven-match unbeaten streak from Sept. 21-Oct. 14. Head coach David Madsen's squad was defeated in the tournament quarterfinals, 3-1, at Aurora.
A trio of players were honored by the league at season's
end. Senior midfielder Kevin Fitchett received first-team all-conference accolades after posting 13 goals, which tied for fifth in the NAC, and five assists for the year. Junior forward Ryan Malo was named to the second team, compiling a team-leading six assists to go along with 10 goals, which tied for ninth in the league. Freshman goalkeeper Ross Soukup garnered all-freshman team honors after leading the Muskies in goals against average (2.06) and saves (70). Fitchett also received second-team All-Wisconsin honors, while junior forward Ted Cormier took home honorable mention All-Wisconsin accolades.
Fitchett, Malo and Cormier put their names all over the Lakeland record book. Fitchett and Cormier tied for second all-time for goals in one season (13), while Cormier's impressive six-match streak of scoring at least one goal is second. Fitchett's 26 career goals are second in school history. With six assists on the year, Malo tied for the third-most in one season.
: It was a season of ups-and-downs for women's soccer, as head coach David Madsen and his team never lost more than three straight matches, but failed to win more than two in a row.
The final result was a 10-9 overall mark, including a 6-6 record in NAC play. The Muskies closed their season with consecutive home victories, including a 5-0 rout of Benedictine on Senior Day (Oct. 25) and a 2-1 triumph over Marian in the finale on Oct. 29.
Freshman forward Lindsay Rogers, who broke onto the scene immediately with four goals in her first two collegiate contests, earned second-team All-NAC honors. Rogers, who started all 19 matches for Lakeland, poured in a team-leading 17 goals. Senior midfielder Amy Christenson, and freshmen Kristi Borts and Autumn Gaylor were named honorable mention all-conference. Christenson finished with 13 goals, good for second on the team, while Borts notched a team-high eight assists to go along with six goals. Gaylor started 15 matches as the team's central defender and thrived in the position. Gaylor and Borts were also named to the league's All-Freshman team.
The team finished fifth in school history for assists in one season (31) and saves in one season (72).
: Junior Nikki Commons placed second at the 2008 NAC Women's Golf Championship at Glen Erin G.C. in Janesville. Commons carded a two-day total of 177 (91-86) to improve on her fourth-place finish at the tournament in 2007.
: Freshman Gary Petit was named to the All-NAC team following a 14th-place finish at the 2008 NAC Men's Golf Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler. The team finished seventh at the tournament.
: The Muskies were hampered by a lack of numbers this season, but second-year head coach Leigh Cherveny, a well-known figure regionally among tennis circles, continues to work at recruiting to get the program headed in the right direction.
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