Nov. 13, 2009

HOLLAND, Mich. - The Lakeland women's volleyball season came to an abrupt end on Thursday night in a 25-17, 25-16, 25-16 loss at No. 6 Hope in the first round of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional at DeVos Fieldhouse.

The Muskies (23-13), the region's No. 7 seed, fought hard in each set but couldn't overcome the second-seeded Flying Dutch.

Lakeland played evenly with Hope (31-3) through much of the second set, but the Flying Dutch put together a 7-1 run to close the frame.

Hope jumped out to a 13-6 advantage in the third set and didn't look back.

Senior middle hitter Kim Linger (Eldorado, Wis.) led the Muskies with 11 kills, while seniors Tonia Strebelinski (Berlin, Wis.) and Kaylyn Kasper (Hilbert, Wis.) paced the defense with 13 and 10 digs, respectively.

Senior outside hitter Brittanie Paulus (Belgium, Wis.), who was recently selected to her second consecutive AVCA Division III All-Midwest Region team, recorded five kills and six digs. She ends her career as the Muskies' all-time leader in career digs.

The Muskies received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after claiming their third consecutive Northern Athletics Conference Tournament title.

Lakeland, which also shared the NAC regular season championship, has been to the NCAAs six times in the past eight years, including the last two years.