PORT HURON, Mich. – Lakeland Community College volleyball had its back against the wall trailing 2-1 to Oakland Community College but the Lakers found momentum at the right time and took the final two sets to earn a 3-2 victory in the NJCAA District E quarterfinal Thursday evening.
The Lakers won by the score of 18-25, 25-20, 25-27, 25-21 and 18-16 to improve to 18-13 overall. Lakeland will next play in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. against the winner of St. Clair County Community College or Mott Community College.
Cary Morin had a solid match with 24 kills and 10 digs. Iesha Niciu finished with 16 kills and 15 blocks. Krista Curtis also reached double figures in kills with 11 while Caitlin Cipriano finished with 55 assists and Brittney O'Hara earned 37 digs in the win.
Lakeland and Oakland started out fairly even in the first set as both teams split the first 16 points after a kill from Curtis made the score 8-8. Oakland grabbed momentum in the set shortly after and took the first set 25-18.
Both teams again split the first 16 points in the second set but a kill by Curtis mixed in with a couple of aces gave the Lakers a 12-8 lead. Curtis was big in the second set as another kill from the sophomore gave Lakeland a 21-17 lead. Lauryn Mitchell tied the match at 1-1 with a kill to give the Lakers a 25-20 victory in the second. Oakland countered by winning in the third in a close set 27-25 to take a 2-1 lead.
Not wanting to bow out in the fourth set, Lakeland came out strong and used a kill from Niciu to take a 13-10 lead. The Lakers took six of the next seven points to claim a 19-11 lead after a kill from Curtis. Oakland made it a little closer down the stretch but an Oakland mistake gave Lakeland a 25-21 victory, forcing a five set.
In an exciting fifth set, Lakeland jumped out to an 11-8 lead after a kill from Morin but Oakland countered right back and tied the set up at 13-13. Lakeland spoiled two match points in the final moments but Morin didn't waste the third match point, burying a kill for an 18-16 victory in the first to advance in the tournament.
For more information about Lakeland athletics, visit www.athletics.lakelandcc.edu.
About Lakeland Community College
Founded in 1967, Lakeland Community College was the first college in Ohio created by a vote of the people. True to our mission, Lakeland provides quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community.
Offering day, evening, weekend and online classes, the college serves more than 10,800 credit and 2,800 noncredit students (2016). For more information about the College, visit www.lakelandcc.edu.