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The Lakeland College women's volleyball team extended its Northern Athletics Conference match win streak to 4-0 after downing Marian 3-1 on Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Fond du Lac.
After commanding wins in the first and second games of the match, 30-13, 30-20, the Muskies (8-8 overall) slipped in the third game and allowed the Sabres to take advantage of a dismal .111 team hitting average as Marian took the game, 30-23.
"I tried a different line-up combination in the third game," said head coach Chad Schreiber. "It didn't gel early, and then we gave up a run of mistakes that separated us from Marian and we never caught up. We went back our regular starting line-up in the fourth game to finish off the match."
Lakeland recovered nicely in game four, 30-19, to seal the match.
Sophomore middle hitter Kim Linger led the Muskies' offensive drive in the match, knocking down 12 kills while also adding six blocks. Senior middle hitter Shelly Bruni and junior right side hitter Heidi Kramer also contributed to the kills column with nine apiece, with Bruni hitting a solid team-high .727. Junior setter Jessica Sparling also boosted the offense with 40 assists.
"Our middles controlled the match offensively last night, Kim and Shelly in particular," Schreiber said. "Marian didn't have an answer for the speed we ran our middles with.
"I also thought our girls did a good job of trying to create energy in an atmosphere where it was hard to create, as it was a very flat environment last night."
Lakeland's defensive efforts were led by sophomore defensive specialist Tonia Strebelinski with 13 digs, aided by 12 digs from senior defensive specialist Rachel Young and 11 digs from senior outside hitter Ashley Domask, who also tallied eight kills and a team-high five service aces.
The Muskies will continue match play with three opponents in two days, starting with a NAC match with Dominican University on Friday, followed by a triangular on Saturday with NAC opponent Concordia University Chicago and non-conference Purdue-North Central.
"Both of them will be good teams," Schreiber said of his upcoming conference opponents. "Dominican is young and up-and-coming, and Concordia has played teams close that we've played as well."
Match time with Dominican is set for 7 p.m. in River Forest, Ill. Saturday's triangular will begin with Concordia at 10 a.m. followed by Purdue-North Central at 1 p.m. Both of Saturday's matches will take place at Concordia in River Forest, Ill.