MEQUON, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin had its opportunities in the fourth and fifth sets, but squandered a Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference match to Lakeland College 3-2 (25-20, 26-24, 25-22, 28-26, 13-15) on Tuesday evening inside the R. John Buuck Field House.
The Falcons opened the match with victories in the first two sets and played match point in the fourth frame, but couldn't smash a kill. During the final frame, CUW took a 6-2 lead after three exciting block combinations. However, three attack errors with the match on the line by the Falcons gave momentum and the victory to the Muskies.
There were 39 scoring ties and 15 lead changes in the match.
Valentine (De Pere, Wis.) recorded her second career triple double with 15 kills, 22 assists and 12 digs. She also added seven block assists. Junior Hannah Griffiths (Antigo, Wis.) added a double-double after she recorded 12 kills and 10 digs. Freshman Karina Klotz (Hubertus, Wis.) finished with her third double-double of the season with 31 assists and 19 digs.
Duchow (Potter, Wis.) smashed 11 kills, while junior Gabrielle VanBeaver (Green Bay, Wis.) set a season high with 10 total blocks, all assisted, to go along with nine kills.
LC (12-9, 2-1 NACC) was led by Amanda Dillman's match-high 20 kills. Brittany Reindl assisted on 53 kills and dug 16 attack attempts, while Caleigh Galvan dug a match-best 29 attack attempts.
CUW finished with a .186 attack percentage, compared to LC's 1.47, and hit over .222 in the first and fourth sets.
The Muskies built a 15-11 lead midway through the opening set, before the Falcons answered with an 11-2 run to take a 22-17 advantage. Several attack errors and a pair of smashing kills by VanBeaver pushed the opening frame in CUW's favor, 25-20.
Neither team wanted to take control of the second set, as the largest lead was a four-point differential, 15-11, in favor of the Falcons. There were 12 scoring ties in the frame before VanBeaver recorded point 25 for CUW, which was followed by a LC attack error for point 26.
The third set was the most competitive, as there were 12 scoring ties and six lead changes. The Muskies put together a five-point scoring run, the longest of the set, to take a 15-12 lead with Katie Freitag adding a pair of kills during the run. LC held on for a 25-22 win and cut its set deficit to 2-1.
CUW turned a 23-20 disadvantage into a 24-23 lead, which forced the Muskies into a timeout during the fourth set. The Falcons couldn't find the right offensive combination to earn the match point, as the Muskies scored five of the final seven points to even the match at two sets apiece.
After three impressive combination blocks to take a 6-2 lead, it looked as if CUW was going to win the conference match. However, it committed two service errors afterwards and its offense faltered when it needed to come alive the most. The Muskies capitalized on three-straight attack errors by the Falcons and Freitag's kill gave them a 3-2 victory.
CUW returns to league play with matches on back-to-back days. Concordia University Chicago will host a 7 p.m. contest on Friday, before Benedictine University hosts on Saturday at 2 p.m.