GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set on Thursday night at the Kress Events Center, but visiting Butler (13-13, 9-5 HL) held off the Phoenix (10-15, 6-7 HL) and earned a 3-2 win (25-22, 25-19, 23-25, 21-25, 15-10) in Horizon League action.
Senior Abbey Gitter (Hortonville, Wis.) led four Phoenix players with double-digit kill numbers with 13 in the match. Senior Carlie Willison (Greenfield, Wis.) had 11 while junior Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) and sophomore Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) each added 10 kills. Despite the kill numbers, Green Bay hit just .117 for the match.
Defensively, Green Bay had five players reach double figures in digs and held Butler to a .117 hitting percentage, with junior libero Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) totaling a team-high 25. Willison (19), Van Zeeland (14) and sophomores Sabrina Marunowski (12) and Leah Poel (11) also had more than 10.
Butler posted wins in the first two sets to put the Phoenix in an early hole, but the hosts were able to regroup at the intermission and come out strong in set three.
After falling behind 7-4 in the third, Green Bay scored 10 of the next 12 points to move ahead 14-9. Willison recorded kills on three of the 10 kills. The lead was 21-16 before the Bulldogs scored six of the next seven points to tie it at 22. Willison and Gitter each tallied kills to help the Phoenix close the set.
A back-and-forth fourth set was knotted at 20-20 before the Phoenix stormed in front to take the set. Willison had two kills and a block during a stretch that helped Green Bay score five of the final six points. Van Zeeland, Willison and Leitermann each had four kills as the Phoenix hit .300 in the set.
In the decisive fifth set, Butler went ahead 3-1 and never relinquished its lead, although Green Bay trailed just 10-9 after a Van Zeeland kill. The Bulldogs scored back-to-back points and escaped with the set and match win, 15-10.
The Phoenix will host Senior Day on Saturday in its home finale at the Kress Center. Green Bay welcomes Wright State at 2 p.m. and will honor four seniors - including Willison and Gitter and seniors Kelly Mischler (Kaukauna, Wis.) and Alison Bohnen (St. Germain, Wis.).
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.