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The Lakeland Muskies cruised past the Edgewood Eagles Tuesday in three games, 30-21, 30-19 and 30-11, led by seniors Heather Heberlein and Danielle Duranceau. Heberlein tallied 10 kills, a .500 hitting percentage and three blocks, while Duranceau notched seven kills, a .272 hitting average, and seven digs.
"We swung cleanly, and I thought our hitters made the smart decisions that allowed us to take leads in every game," said head coach Chad Schreiber. "I don't think we were aggressive enough tonight and our serving location needs a lot of improvement.
"I was really impressed by Jessica Sparling coming into the third game and running a good match as a setter," said Schreiber. "A couple calls didn't go her way that would have made her night even better, but I thought she did a good job as a freshman. I thought the middles were very active which is something we preached about after our last match, and Heather put balls down like she was MVP of the conference again."
In the first game, the Muskies stormed out to a 14-4 lead thanks to some great play by Heberlein and Duranceau as they both recorded five kills in the game. The Eagles were able to close the gap, but could not overcome the deficit as the Muskies won the game 30-21.
In the second game, the Muskies once again jumped out to an early 20-9 lead before allowing the Eagles to once again make a run. Both Heberlein and Duranceau once again played key roles in the game for the Muskies.
"I was happy with how I played tonight," said Heberlein. "Edgewood had a lot of new players coming in so I didn't know what to expect. I went out there and played my game and thought we played pretty well."
In the third and final game, Edgewood was able to grab their first lead of the night as they went up 5-2, but the Lakeland middles became active and helped get the Muskies back on track.
"That was just trying to play outside of ourselves and the lack of aggression that we had tonight," said Schreiber. "Lack of aggression ultimately leads to mistakes and we came out tentative and we forced our own mistakes."
Sparling also came in and played a huge role in the third game as she garnered seven assists. Her favorite target was junior Erin Helbing, who was able to convert two kills.
"I was really excited to come into the game," said Sparling. "It was fun. We just click and everything went well."
"This year is definitely one the best years we had for incoming freshman," said Heberlein. "They caught on fast and it has been really easy for them to mold into the way we play so it hasn't been a challenge at all. It is almost like we have played with each other for a long time."
With the victory, the Muskies improve to 3-0 on the season. They won't get much time off as they head to St. Norbert Wednesday night for a 7p.m. match.