WATERTOWN, Wis. – Maranatha had to earn every point against Lakeland, winning 3-1 in a back and forth affair on Tuesday evening to move on to the NAC Tournament Semifinals on Thursday.
Both defenses played lights-out, often extending play, while committing few errors. Lakeland held a slight advantage in digs (85-80), but Maranatha amassed 27 blocks (three solo).
In the first set, Maranatha built a 12-9 lead on a kill by freshman hitter Stacy Reinke (Clintonville, Wis.), but the Muskies forced their way to a 12-12 tie, and looked poised to win on a 20-17 lead. Maranatha battled their way to a 23-23 tie though, before junior blocker Laci Peterson (Chillicothe, Ill.) ended the set on an emphatic kill for the 25-23 win.
Lakeland responded in set two, building a 21-18 lead, while surviving a late Maranatha rally that tied it at 24, to win 26-24.
Maranatha used a 9-4 run late in set four for the 25-19 win, and had a 17-12 lead in set four before cruising to a 25-17 victory.
Senior hitter Torey DeLozier (Watertown, Wis.) finished with 18 kills, 13 digs, and nine blocks (one solo), while Peterson notched 16 kills and four blocks (one solo).
Senior libero Halley Sheley (Watertown, Wis.) showed poise on defense with 23 digs, while sophomore setter Emily Thompson (Watertown, Wis.) finished with 18 assists.
Maranatha moves on to the semifinals against the #1 Edgewood Eagles in Madison, Wis. at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 1.