MILWAUKEE – The MSOE women's volleyball got off to another strong start but was unable to fend off Lakeland in falling 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 28-26 Wednesday night at Hotchkin Arena.
The Raiders (9-16, 3-9 NACC) were unable to build off an opening-set victory against a league side bound for the tournament for the second-straight match as the Muskies (20-9, 9-3 NACC) proved too much down the stretch.
Senior Hannah Pekarek led the attack with 11 kills and added a season-high 26 digs in the match. She was joined in posting over 20 digs by senior libero Shelby Borchardt, who added 25 of her own. Freshman Italia Fields chipped in eight kills on the night.
Megan Goeser led Lakeland with 12 kills. Shannon Bishop finished with nine and Shelby Welsh had eight.
MSOE came out on the front foot, rattling off an early 6-0 run to reverse an 11-8 deficit into a 14-11 lead in the opening set. LU would eventually tie the score at 17-17 but the Raiders then hit three-straight points to get back out in the lead. They then fended off the visitors down the stretch to claim the win.
The Muskies responded by jumping out to a 10-4 lead in the second game. Lakeland gradually added to their lead in tying the match. The visitors then took the lead in the match after claiming the third frame. An early 5-0 run put LU in the lead for good. Though the Red & White hung close, it could not pull even.
The Raiders looked as if they would pull even in the match in a hard-fought fourth game. The score was tight throughout with neither team able to pull away. MSOE scored four-straight points to open a late 20-17 lead and still had a three-point advantage at 22-19. Lakeland would not go away, pulling ahead at 24-23. The teams traded scores into extra points until the Muskies broke a 26-26 tie with back-to-back points to close out the match.
MSOE limited Lakeland to just .057 attacking on the night, thanks to a solid showing of back-row defense. Meanwhile, the home team hit just .036 with 41 kills against 35 errors in 169 attacks.
The Raiders close out the season this weekend at the Warrior Invitational. They start the tournament Friday afternoon against Maranatha.