Women's volleyball to open at Hope in NCAA Tournament; football still alive for NCAA Playoffs bid
Athletics - posted on 11/9/2009
The Lakeland women's volleyball team will head to Holland, Mich., this Thursday for a match against No. 1 seed and NCAA Great Lakes Regional host Hope. The match begins at 7 p.m. Central time (8 p.m. Eastern at Hope).
Lakeland is the region's No. 8 seed. The Muskies received the Northern Athletics Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament following its thrilling five-set win at Dominican in the conference tournament finals on Saturday.
The announcement came Monday morning, two days after the Muskies (23-12) erased a two-set deficit to defeat Dominican 25-27, 24-26, 25-19, 25-14, 15-10. The victory seemed most improbable after Lakeland lost a pair of tightly-contested sets in heart-breaking fashion.
The Muskies have now won three consecutive NAC Tournaments and will make their second straight NCAA Division III Tournament appearance.
"We've had such an up-and-down season, so we were prepared for a moment like this," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said following the match. "In practice on Friday, I told them to be prepared for everything. We have had every scenario, and we really had to push hard in the third set to extend the match."
Entering national tournament play, Lakeland has won four straight matches and eight of its last 10. Schreiber is pleased with the way the team has adjusted after struggling through a 2-6 stretch midway through the season.
"I've been hard on this team, telling them they haven't learned from the past enough," Schreiber said. "We already had the heart and talent to win, we just weren't playing smart. For the last three weeks, we have played intelligently and let our servers play to their strengths."
Hope (30-3), a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, lost to rival Calvin in four sets in the MIAA Tournament championship. The Flying Dutch are ranked fifth in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll, and rank in the top five in the nation in assists per set and kills per set.
Last season, the Muskies lost at No. 1 seed and regional host UW-Oshkosh 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 in the first round of the tournament. The program is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last eight years.
"As a group, we said we wanted to get to the tournament last year," Schreiber said. "This year it's the same, but now we want to stay there."
To view the Web site for the Great Lakes Regional, click here
To see the complete 62-team NCAA Tournament bracket, click here
(Printable: click here
The Lakeland football team remains alive for the Northern Athletics Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs following a 32-16 win in the Cheese Bowl at Concordia, Wis., on Saturday.
A victory alone would give the Muskies (5-4 overall, 5-1 NAC) a share of their fourth conference title in the last six years. A win coupled with a Concordia Chicago loss, however, would give Lakeland the league's berth to the 2009 NCAA Playoffs.
"We feel really good right now," said senior wide receiver Jacob Heinemeyer, who had six receptions for 92 yards and a score against CUW. "We just have to control what we can control and finish out with a win over Aurora."
The Cougars (8-1, 5-1) own the tiebreaker over Muskies due to their 41-32 win at Lakeland on Oct. 17. CUC hosts Benedictine at 12 p.m. Saturday, while Lakeland hosts Aurora simultaneously.
The Muskies have won three straight contests, outscoring opponents 81-30 in that span.
"We've got great emotion right now and our kids are really excited," Lakeland coach Kevin Doherty said following the win. "We're ready for Senior Day this Saturday, and our team is really cohesive right now. I think they'd play tomorrow if they could."
Check back to the football and women's volleyball pages later this week for complete pre- and post-game coverage.
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