Lakeland volleyball picked for third consecutive NAC title
Athletics - posted on 8/18/2009
The Lakeland women's volleyball team has been selected to win its third straight Northern Athletics Conference championship in the league's preseason coaches' poll, the conference announced late Monday.
Lakeland received six first-place votes and 158 points, just three more than Concordia, Wis., which tallied 155 points to go along with three first-place votes. Concordia Chicago and Benedictine, chosen in third and fourth place, respectively, also received first-place votes. Rockford, picked in 10th place, also garnered a first-place tally.
"Our goals remain the same every year - to win the conference tournament and qualify for the NCAA Tournament," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said. "Our finish this season will be determined by how we replace a pair of consistent all-conference performers."
Last season, the Muskies received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championship tournament, where they fell 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-19) to regional host and top-seeded UW-Oshkosh.
Lakeland posted a 12-0 regular season mark in NAC contests and finished with a 25-11 overall record. The team defeated Concordia, Wis., in the NAC Tournament final 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 28-26, 25-17).
The Muskies, who haven't lost a regular season or post-season conference match in two years, return a pair of first-team all-conference selections in senior outside hitter Brittanie Paulus and senior middle hitter Kim Linger. Paulus, a Belgium native, also garnered Division III All-Midwest Region team accolades from the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
The Muskies lost four seniors in 2008, including first-team All-NAC selections Heidi Kramer and Jessica Sparling.
See below for the complete 2009 Northern Athletics Conference Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll.
2009 NAC Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses):
1. Lakeland (6), 158
2. Concordia Wisconsin (3), 155
3. Concordia Chicago (1), 140
4. Benedictine (2), 125
5. Dominican, 124
6. Aurora, 84
7. Wisconsin Lutheran, 82
8. MSOE, 78
9. Maranatha, 63
10. Rockford (1), 62
11. Edgewood, 49
12. Marian, 42
13. Alverno, 21
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