MILWAUKEE – NACC Player of the Year Quin Krisik (Itasca, Ill. / Itasca) continued to add on to his school assist record with 37, while the MSOE Raiders hit .304 or better in every set to steamroll past Lakeland University on Friday evening to cement their spot in the NACC Men's Volleyball Championship game.
5th Seed Lakeland – 0 (16, 22, 17)
1st Seed MSOE RAIDERS – (25, 25, 25)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The last time MSOE (20-7, 13-3 NACC) saw the court, it was during a four-set loss to Benedictine last Saturday. While the Eagles stole their chance to be the NACC regular season champions, Benedictine's failed DII transition ousted them out of tournament play, handing the top seed and the right to host to the Red & White. This meant that the road to the NCAA tournament goes through the Kern Center where they are 11-0 inside Hotchkin Arena.
While they had to wait until Tuesday to find out that Lakeland was their opponent, it gave NACC Coach of the Year Shane Reid plenty of time to prepare for the contest that was quickly approaching. The teams focus and desire to win the next two matches showed right out of the gates in tonight's ballgame. The Raiders shot out to a 6-1 lead in set one, forcing Lakeland to regroup with an early timeout. That didn't stop the buzz saw though. The Raiders grew their advantage even larger throughout the rest of the frame, holding a ten-point margin at 18-8. Nothing that Lakeland was able to do got them anywhere near the victory in the Red & White's 25-16 opening win.
Set two was a different story. The Muskies were able to keep their chins up, battling all the way in trying to tie up the match. LU hit .406 and led late 17-16, in what would also be their last lead of the night. MSOE showed them up with their .441 hitting percentage however and scored the last nine of 14 points to go up two games to none with a 25-22 decision.
The Raiders didn't want to play anymore than they had to this evening, as they wrapped up things in straight sets. The final stanza started off with another 5-1 MSOE run, and they never looking back from there. There were only four occasions of getting a single point before handing the serving rights back over to the Muskies, as they won 25-17, punching their ticket to the NACC championship game
With tonight's win, the Raiders have now tied the mark for most wins in a single season at 20. The last time they achieved that was back during the 2017 season where they went 20-5 and 16-3 in their former conference, the MCVL.
MSOE STAT TRACKER
Quin Krisik – 37 assists, 6 digs
Jacob Sirny (Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield East) – 11 kills, .600 hitting percentage
Austyn Bella (Sherwood, Wis. / Kaukauna) – 9 kills, .444 hitting percentage, 4 digs
WHO'S ON DECK
MSOE will battle Dominican one more time tomorrow evening, with a trip to the NCAA tournament on the line. First serve is slated for 5:00 pm.