- Evening, Weekend & Online Programs
- ALUMNI RELATIONS
- GIVING TO LAKELAND
- ABOUT LAKELAND
The journey back to the top of the Northern Athletics Conference begins this year for the Lakeland College women's volleyball team after a couple of subpar seasons the past few years.
The Muskies finished 9-21 last year, the program's second straight losing season. Those seasons followed a decade of excellence that included eight conference championships in a nine-year stretch, including six trips to the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament Also included were three NAC regular season titles and two NAC Tournament championships from 2007-09, when the Muskies were the premier program in the league.
This year Lakeland welcomes a new head coach in Kim Bukowski. A setter at NCAA Division I Valparaiso University and a native of Waukesha, Wis., Bukowski was a graduate assistant at Valparaiso last year and also assisted at the University of South Dakota following a career in which she was a four-year starter from 2006-09 and a two time All-Horizon League selection.
Bukowski's first head coaching job will be to mold a Lakeland team that includes just one senior but returns five starters from last season. The one starter not returning is a big loss, as Allison Davis led the team in kills and blocks last year and was a Second Team All-NAC pick.
The lone senior on this year's squad is outside hitter Taylor Daus (Green Bay, Wis.), who was named to the NAC's All-Sportsmanship Team last year. Daus posted 85 kills and 152 digs last year as one of the team's top reserves.
Amanda Dillman (Jr.-Sheboygan, Wis.) was named honorable mention all-conference last year as a sophomore and was a solid second option last year as a sophomore. A 6-0 middle blocker, Dillman recorded 276 kills and 76 blocks last year, ranking second on the team in both categories. She also led the team with 39 service aces.
Dillman and Katie Freitag (Jr.-Kiel, Wis.) will anchor the Muskies' front line. Freitag, who at 5-10 can play middle or as an outside hitter, finished third on the team with 191 kills last year and also was second in digs with 257. LeShay Jones (Fr.-Pontiac, Mich.) is a newcomer to the team who also can play in the middle or on the outside.
Daus and Anna Faust (Jr.-Cross Plains, Wis.) join with Freitag to lead the team's outside hitters. Faust recorded 148 kills and 210 digs last season, fourth on the team in both categories. Junior Melissa Christensen (Valders, Wis.) notched 51 kills and 254 digs last season swinging between the back and front rows, and a large group of hitters also includes sophomores Catherine Benzie (Iron Mountain, Mich.) and Claire Cardarelle (Saukville, Wis.) and freshmen Brooke Aiazzi (Yerington, Nev.), Shaina Carlson (Menasha, Wis.), Emily Thomas (Stevens Point, Wis.) and Jenna Ward (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.).
Junior Brittany Reindl (Kenosha, Wis.) returns as the team's starting setter after recording 778 assists last year. Christiansen also can and will set from time to time (144 assists in 2011), and sophomore Emily Wyngaard (Brillion, Wis.) and freshman Caleigh Galvan (New Lenox, Ill.) also join the program this year. Wyngaard can play as a setter or outside hitter, while Galvan can serve as a setter and defensive specialist.
The back row specialists will be led by Tess Myklebust (Jr.-Wisconsin Dells, Wis.), another returning starter who paced the team in digs last year with 359. Thomas, Galvan and Sara Gross (So.-Plover, Wis.) also can play as defensive specialists.
The Muskies open their season Saturday with the Lady Blue Tournament hosted by Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill. Lakeland opens the invitational against Culver-Stockton (Mo.) College at 3 p.m.