Lakeland falls to Illinois in MIVA Championships final
Athletics - posted on 3/29/2009
The No. 4 Lakeland men's volleyball team fell just short of a Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association title, falling to No. 6 Illinois 28-26, 27-25 on Sunday in the finals of the MIVA Championships at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.
The Muskies (30-7, 9-1 Wisconsin Volleyball Conference) battled in the rematch of last year's NIRSA National Championship match, but dropped its second match against the Fighting Illini in as many days.
"It was back and forth in front of a packed gym," Lakeland coach Chad Schreiber said. "It was an unbelievable match. I was impressed with the play of both teams."
In the team's first contest, Illinois beat Lakeland 25-21, 25-20 in preliminary pool play on Saturday.
The Muskies, who posted a 6-2 record for the two-day tournament, knocked off No. 24 Cincinnati (25-21, 25-22), Iowa (25-14, 25-12) and 23rd-ranked Michigan State (25-19, 25-23) on their way to the final match in the Division I Gold Bracket.
"On the whole, I still think we have a long way to go on our serving game; it is not at a championship level," Schreiber said. "However, our serve receive and side-out game, which has been our strength all year, was our strength this weekend."
Lakeland posted a 3-1 record in Saturday's preliminary round. The Muskies won their first two matches of the day in three sets. After claiming a 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 over Wisconsin, the team defeated Grand Valley State 21-25, 25-23, 15-10.
Following the loss to the Illini, the Muskies rebounded with a 26-24, 25-22 victory over Ohio Northern.
Lakeland returns to action this Friday and Saturday, April 3 & 4, at the WVC Tournament in Milwaukee. The Muskies will be gunning for a third consecutive conference tournament title.
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