GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After a record-breaking opening weekend of the 2012 season, Green Bay volleyball senior Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) has been selected as the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Aug. 24-26. It marks the fourth time the Phoenix libero has received the award in her standout career.
Groth registered 72 digs in nine sets played at the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Tournament over the weekend, averaging a league-best eight digs per set. She started the season with 24 in Green Bay's sweep of Drake on Friday before adding 19 more against Central Michigan on Saturday. She saved her best performance for the tournament finale against Auburn, breaking the school record for digs in a three-set match with 29. Groth previously tied the three-set digs record in 2010, matching Phoenix assistant Sarah Rauen's mark of 26.
"Brittany has been breaking school records left and right over the past couple years, so I'm not surprised she's continuing that right away this season," Phoenix head coach Debbie Kirch said. "There's no doubt that she's the most relentless player on our team and she's not going to let the ball hit the floor. She had a great weekend and is very deserving of the Player of the Week award."
Groth was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week twice last season, picking up the award on Sept. 26 and Oct. 31. She was also recognized on Oct. 10, 2010. The senior currently holds Green Bay's school records for digs in a four-set match (38), three-set match (29) and for an individual season (659 in 2011). Groth needs 547 more to pass Megan Elfering (2005-08) as Green Bay's career digs leader.
Groth and the Phoenix opened the 2012 season with a 1-2 record, defeating the Bulldogs 3-0 in the opener before suffering a pair of tough 3-0 losses to the Chippewas and Tigers on Saturday. Green Bay is back in action on Tuesday night when it travels to DeKalb, Ill., for its first road match of the season against Northern Illinois at 7 p.m.
Carmen Leitermann was named to the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites All-Tournament Team following a trio of strong performances. The senior had a team-high 31 kills over the weekend, committing just three errors. Her .475 hitting percentage is second among Horizon League players through the first weekend of competition ... Groth's average of eight digs per set is tops in the league, with the second-highest total being 5.19 by Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Taylor Root from Valparaiso ... Katie Mroczenski had a strong weekend the Phoenix, posting 14 total blocks - the second-highest total of any Horizon League player after the season-opening matches ... Leitermann had 10 total blocks in Green Bay's first three matches. Her six solo blocks pushed her career total to 82, moving the senior into second place on the school's all-time list ahead of Jessie Theys (81 from 2000-03) and behind Marie Kaland (97 from 1992-95) ... A pair of freshmen made their debut in a Phoenix uniform at the team's home tournament. Becca Mastey played in all nine sets for Green Bay, recording 20 digs and four assists, while Taylor Kasal appeared in one set against CMU, picking up a pair of digs ... Green Bay is averaging more digs (21) and blocks (2.67) per set than any team in the Horizon League.
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