Muskies seek conference tournament three-peat
Athletics - posted on 11/2/2009
The Lakeland women's volleyball team begins its trek for a third consecutive Northern Athletics Conference Tournament title this Tuesday with a first-round match against Wisconsin Lutheran at 7 p.m. at Moose & Dona Woltzen Gymnasium.
Lakeland is the tournament's No. 2 seed by virtue of a tiebreaker with No. 1 Dominican and No. 3 Benedictine, as all three teams shared the NAC regular season championship with a 10-2 league record.
The regular season title was the third straight for the Muskies (20-12), who seem to be peaking at the right time.
Lakeland won its last three regular season conference matches, including a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20 victory over Benedictine on Oct. 24 to clinch a share of the title. The team was also impressive at the UW-Whitewater Invitational over the weekend with victories over St. Ambrose, which defeated ninth-ranked Carthage earlier in tournament play, and Millikin.
The team also fought valiantly in losses against No. 6 UW-Whitewater and UW-Platteville, both ranked nationally or regionally throughout the 2009 season.
"We go to this tournament every year to get ready for the postseason, and we played the best we've ever played there," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said. "Our biggest disappointment was losing to UW-Platteville after being up 16-7 with momentum to get to a fifth set."
With the potential for seven matches played in eight days, Schreiber has stressed recovery for his team as an important key to staying fresh in postseason play.
"I talked to the girls about tending to aches and pains," Schreiber said. "We're playing very well right now. Our level of play is ready, but now we just need to recover."
In the only contest between the Muskies and the Wisconsin Lutheran (16-15) this season, the Muskies eked out a 25-17, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 15-5 victory on Sept. 17 at WLC.
Since winning seven straight in late September and early October, the Warriors have lost four straight and, since Oct. 20, have alternated wins and losses.
Tuesday's match is also significant because Schreiber, who is in his 15th year coaching at Lakeland, would earn his 300th career victory. He is currently one of only nine NCAA Division III women's volleyball coaches under the age of 40 with at least 250 career wins.
Schreiber also has 391 wins as coach of the men's volleyball program.
With a victory Tuesday, the Muskies would host either Benedictine or No. 6 Edgewood on Thursday at 7 p.m. The highest remaining seed hosts the tournament final, which is scheduled for Saturday.
By winning the conference tournament, Lakeland would earn its second straight automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. However, for the first time in two years, the team may have to go on the road to do it.
Share This Story Help
Lakeland offers links to several popular social bookmarking services. These links help you share stories with other people or create bookmarks for future reference. The services are free, but they require a personal account. Click for more information on social bookmarking
<< Return to News