Northland men’s volleyball

DUNBAR, Wis. – Northland International University ended its season at the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference men’s tournament at UW-Oshkosh.

“This was probably the last rodeo for us,” NIU Coach Dave Herron said. “I just don’t know if we have enough cowboys or horses to save the show or run the ranch.”

NIU went into the tournament seeded last in a pool with Oshkosh II and III along with Whitewater and Superior.

The Pioneers began play with a 2-0 (25-16. 25-15) loss to top seed Oshkosh II team.

Oshkosh III then handed NIU another 2-0 (25-19, 25-22) setback.

After a break in play, NIU downed Superior 2-1 (25-14, 17-25. 15-13).

The end of pool play came with a 2-1 setback (20-25, 25-19, 15-9) setback to Whitewater.

NIU, fourth in pool play, bowed to pool B top seed Moody Bible 2-0 (25-20, 25-23.

In the consolation bracket, NIU fell to Whitewater 2-1 (26-28, 25-20, 15-9).

“Our Achilles heel flared up again and we couldn’t-wouldn’t pass serve,” said Herron, whose Pioneers posted a 1-6 tourney mark. “It’s a bit frustrating because we had goals going in.

“I do believe we competed for 90 percent of the time. It is like the AT&T “bigger is better” commercial. We were just a bit short on stature and experience. I was proud of how this team improved though, really pleased with the effort.”

The Pioneers finished with a 17-11 overall record. Aaron Debutiaco was named to the WVC DII all-conference team as a setter.