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Outlasting its opponent in the truest sense of the term, the Lakeland College women's volleyball team defeated Concordia University Wisconsin in four sets to win its Northern Athletics Conference opener Tuesday night at Woltzen Gymnasium.
The Muskies continued a successful early season, improving to 7-2 overall. Lakeland is now two wins away from tying its win total for the entire 2011season, when it finished 9-21.
The Muskies emerged from a match marked by numerous long rallies, with the teams playing for nearly two hours. Lakeland came out ahead on more long points than not, though, and won key points in the first and fourth sets to grab momentum from the Falcons (3-5 overall, 0-1 NAC).
Concordia held a 22-20 lead late in a back-and-forth first set before Lakeland dug in to tie after kills by Taylor Daus (Sr.-Bay Port, Wis.) and Caleigh Galvan (Fr.-New Lenox, Ill.). The Falcons briefly went back ahead at 23-22 but eventually committed two hitting errors to give the Muskies set point, and Daus came up with the kill to give Lakeland the lead in the match.
The Muskies broke free midway through a tight second set to pull away and take a 2-0 lead in the match, but Concordia controlled the third set to get back into the match. The fourth set was close as well when Carley Valentine's kill for the Falcons cut Lakeland's lead to 16-15, but Katie Freitag (Jr.-Kiel, Wis.) followed with a kill to get service back. From there Brittany Reindl (Jr.-Kenosha, Wis.) would serve out six straight points, including a pair of aces, and Galvan would finish the match with two more kills to close out the win.
Galvan paced Lakeland with 11 kills and 25 digs, leading the team in both categories. Freitag added 10 kills while Reindl recorded seven kills, 34 assists and 16 digs. Daus also added nine kills and 13 digs. The Muskies hit .099 for the match with 49 kills and 31 errors in 181 attempts.
Hannah Griffiths led Concordia with 13 kills, while Britta Duchow added 10 kills and seven assisted blocks. Libero Erin Howard added 22 digs for the Falcons.
Lakeland returns to non-conference play this weekend at the Wheaton Triangular. The Muskies face Monmouth (Ill.) College at noon and Wheaton (Ill.) College at 2 p.m.