Green Bay Heads to Ohio for Final Weekend of Regular Season
By: Ryan Hartwig (@GBHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay volleyball team (12-13, 7-5 HL) heads to Ohio this weekend for the final two matches of its 2013 regular season. The Phoenix first travels to Cleveland State (14-11, 4-8 HL) on Friday at 6 p.m. CT before heading to Youngstown State (15-12, 7-5 HL) on Saturday at 5 p.m. CT.
Fans unable to make the trip to Ohio this weekend can follow the matches with free live video on the Horizon League Network and live stats. Links can be found on the volleyball schedule page on GreenBayPhoenix.com. The official Green Bay volleyball Twitter (@GBPhoenixVB) and Facebook (Green Bay Phoenix Volleyball) accounts will also be posting live updates throughout the weekend.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Green Bay has already clinched one of the six spots in next weekend’s 2013 Horizon League Championship (Nov. 22-24), but will be battling for seeding this weekend. The Phoenix is currently in a three-way tie for third place at 7-5, along with Youngstown State and Oakland. Valparaiso is second with a 9-3 league mark and can clinch the No. 2 seed and a bye with one win this weekend. Milwaukee has wrapped up the right to host the conference tournament with an 11-1 record. Defending champion Cleveland State is fighting to keep its season alive this weekend, currently occupying the sixth and final spot at 4-8.
LAST TIME OUT
Green Bay is coming off a 3-1 Senior Night loss against first-place Milwaukee last Saturday. Sophomore Mikaela Gunderson (Casco, Wis.) had a team-best 14 kills in the losing effort, while freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) registered a double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs.
Prior to the match, the Phoenix honored its six seniors – Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.), Sabrina Marunowski (Milwaukee, Wis.), Katie Mroczenski (New Berlin, Wis.), Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.), Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) and student assistant Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.).
HURLEY LEADS HL
Shannon Hurley is making a strong case for Horizon League Freshman on the Year honors, leading the conference in kills (310) and kills per set (3.41). The last Phoenix player to lead the league in kills was Janelle Tomlinson (620) – Green Bay’s career leader – in 2003.
In addition to Hurley, two Phoenix sophomores also lead the Horizon League in their respective stat categories. Libero Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.) is tops in the league in digs per set, averaging 4.97, while setter Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) is first in total assists with 1,043.
SCOUTING THE VIKINGS
Cleveland State (4-8) is battling with UIC (3-9) for the sixth and final spot in next weekend’s conference tournament. The Vikings have two tough matches remaining against the Phoenix on Friday and first-place Milwaukee on Saturday. Green Bay defeated CSU 3-1 on Oct. 19 at the Kress Center, a match in which Leah Van Zeeland tied her career high with 21 kills. The Vikings are led by Maggie Hannon, who ranks second in the league in hitting percentage (.350) and fourth in kills (3.06 per set).
SCOUTING THE PENGUINS
Youngstown State (7-5) is one of three teams (Green Bay, Oakland) tied for third place in the Horizon League standings entering the season’s final weekend. The Penguins boast one of the top defenses in the conference, ranking first in blocks (2.73 per set) and second in opponent hitting percentage (.168). YSU won the first meeting between the two teams 3-1 in Green Bay on Oct. 18.
HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Green Bay volleyball team will begin its quest for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament next weekend at the 2013 Horizon League Championship, held Nov. 22-24 at the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee. Stay tuned to GreenBayPhoenix.com and HorizonLeague.com for the Horizon League Championship bracket.
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