PLYMOUTH, Wis. – Marian University men’s volleyball (10-12, 8-6 NACC) forced a fourth set but fell to Lakeland with set scores of 25-23, 25-12, 21-25, and 26-24.
The Sabres started slowly as Lakeland was able to take a 24-19 lead in the first set. After Marian battled past four set-point opportunities for the Muskies, Lakeland was finally able to break through and take the first set. The second set was all Lakeland as the Muskies hit .667 and cruised past the Sabres.
Marian bounced back in the third set using an 8-4 run in the middle of the set to take a 19-15 advantage. The Sabres used that momentum jumping out to a 6-1 lead to open the fourth set. Marian was able to extend their lead out to 21-16 before Lakeland scored five unanswered points to tie the set at 21-21. Marian would have a set-point opportunity at 24-23 following back-to-back kills from senior Jon Smallpage but the Muskies rallied to score three-consecutive points and take the match.
Marian was held to a hitting percentage below .035 for only the second time this season. Smallpage posted a double-double in the defeat with a team-high 13 kills and 12 digs with fellow senior Cullen Liberski also recording 12 digs. Freshman Liam Skinner had one solo block and assisted on seven more blocks at the net.
Marian travels to No. 10 MSOE for a 1 p.m. first serve Saturday, March 30 in NACC action.