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Lakeland College women's volleyball player Katie Freitag (Jr.-Kiel, Wis.) has been named First Team All-Northern Athletics Conference for the 2012 season, one of three Muskies to receive awards as the NAC released its conference awards Wednesday.
Freitag is joined by teammates Brittany Reindl (Jr.-Kenosha, Wis.) and Caleigh Galvan (Fr.-New Lenox, Ill.) on the all-conference team. Reindl was named Second Team All-NAC, while Galvan is a member of the conference's All-Freshman Team.
All three played key roles on this year's Muskie team that finished 17-10 overall and placed fifth in the NAC with a 7-5 conference record. The Muskies' season ended Tuesday night in the NAC Tournament quarterfinals with a four-set loss to fourth-seeded Maranatha Baptist Bible College, but Lakeland improved on a 9-21 record in 2010 and equaled its win total for the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined.
"It is great to have three of our players get all-conference recognition," said Lakeland Head Coach Kim Bukowski. "These three deserve their awards on account of all their hard work and dedication to our program."
Freitag was the Muskies' most effective hitter on the season with a .217 attack percentage and ranked second on the team with 224 kills. She led the team with an average of 2.60 kills per set and also paced the team with 64 blocks. It is her first time receiving conference honors.
"Katie was put in a tough position this year after she was moved from an outside hitter to the middle," Bukowski said. "We needed her in this position in order to run a quicker offense and to utilize her big block on defense. Katie is one of the most athletic kids on this team and is definitely deserving of first team all-conference recognition."
Reindl ranked among the NAC's leading setters all season, starting every match and posting 889 assists. She ranked fourth in the conference in assists, and her 9.47 assists per set was good for third in the NAC. Reindl also led Lakeland and was fifth in the conference with 40 service aces, and she also finished fourth on the Muskie squad with 25 blocks and fifth on the team with 222 digs.
"Brittany did an awesome job running our offense this year," said Bukowski. "We made quite a few changes at the beginning of the season, but she caught on quickly and was able to adjust. Brittany is always looking to get better and it definitely showed in her play this year. We are excited to see how she is able to maximize her potential during her senior year."
Galvan was one of the best all-around players for the Muskies and also among conference freshmen. She finished second on the team with 282 digs and was fifth for Lakeland with 154 kills. Her 3.76 digs per set led the team, and she compiled her totals despite missing four matches late in the season due to an ankle injury.
"Caleigh brings so much competition and energy to this team," Bukowski said. "She is a leader by example and exceeded my expectations for her this year. The fact that she stepped up and led this team as a freshman says a lot about her as a person and a player. I am looking forward to another three years with Caleigh."
Mallory Palmer of Edgewood College was named the NAC Player of the Year, while Liz Yakey of Dominican (Ill.) University is the NAC Defensive Player of the Year. Caitlen Foote of Dominican is the conference's Freshman of the Year, and Paul Schlomer of Edgewood was voted as the NAC Coach of the Year.