GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Junior Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) tallied 22 more digs to increase her Horizon League lead and close in on 1,000 for her career, but visiting Green Bay (8-14, 4-6 HL) fell 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 33-31) in a league match at UIC (13-9, 6-4 HL) on Friday evening.
Groth's 22 digs left her with 960 for her career and increased her season average to 5.33 digs per set. She is also averaging 6.47 digs per set in league play, more than one per set more than second.
UIC opened the match by controlling the first set. The Phoenix never led in the set, but was able to tie it at 13-13 before the Flames five of the next six points. Green Bay hit .238 as a team in the set, but the Flames tallied 20 kills for a .308 hitting percentage.
After Green Bay started set two with a kill from senior Abbey Gitter (Hortonville, Wis.), the Flames took eight of the next nine points and never looked back in taking a two-set lead. Despite her team being in a hole, Gitter led all players with 10 kills through the first two sets.
The third set was a different story with the Phoenix jumping out early. Green Bay led 9-4 after a Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.) kill and three straight points on the serve of sophomore Sabrina Marunowski (Milwaukee, Wis.) gave the Phoenix a 16-10 lead.
UIC slowly chipped away at the lead before tying it at 19. In the rest of set, the score was tied on 10 occasions. Green Bay had a set point at 24-23 and 27-26 but could not force the fourth set. After the Phoenix saved six match points, the Flames finally took the win on back-to-back Kelsey Safranek kills.
Gitter finished with a team-high 13 kills for Green Bay while Zabkowicz and senior Carlie Willison (Greenfield, Wis.) each added nine kills. Zabkowicz finished with 10 digs while sophomore Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.) directed the offense with 34 assists.
The Phoenix will have a quick turnaround before playing at Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.