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The Lakeland College men's volleyball team got head coach Joe Julkowski his first victory as the Muskies (1-2, 1-2 WVC) went 1-1 at the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference Crossovers.
The Muskies won their first match, a 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-13, 25-15) victory over UW-Platteville. They were unable to win their second match of the day, falling 3-2 (24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 13-15) to UW-La Crosse.
Against UW-Platteville, freshman Alec Redlich (Wauwatosa, Wis.) led the Muskie offense with 14 kills, three aces and three blocks, while senior Dan Sheets-Poling (Plainfield, Ill.) added 13 kills and two blocks. Freshman setter Dayton Erickson (Trevor, Wis.) finished with 41 assists.
Defensively, Lakeland was led by senior Andrew Cheever (Milwaukee, Wis.), who had nine digs.
"Dayton did an excellent job spreading the ball to all of our young hitters," said Julkowski. "The first set started off slow for us as we traded kills and errors. In sets two, three and four we picked up every aspect of our game and worked as a team to pull out the win."
In the match against UW-La Crosse, Redlich and freshman Braden Woods (Downers Grove, Ill.) each tallied 10 kills. Senior Beau Bradshaw (Oak Lawn, Ill.) added eight kills and sophomore Ralph Kokoszka (Palos Heights, Ill.) tallied seven. Erickson finished with 42 assists.
"We saw UW-La Crosse in a preseason tournament and we knew what to expect," said Julkowski. "I was finally able to coach strategy to the team and we are now well prepared to face the again. Despite the loss, our serving was solid and we had an excellent team effort, recording 26 blocks and 62 digs."
In the loss, Cheever recorded his 1,134th dig, breaking the all-time career digs record of 1,133 set by Julkowski in 2010. The first-year head coach was quick to praise the fifth year senior for his achievement. "I had the pleasure of playing alongside Cheever in 2009 and 2010 and couldn't be happier for him to achieve this record."
Lakeland returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 31, as the Muskies host WVC foe UW-Platteville in the Moose and Dona Woltzen Gymnasium at 8 p.m.