GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay volleyball team (1-0) opened its 2012 campaign Friday night with a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-13, 25-20) of Drake (0-1) in its first match of the Green Bay/Country Inn & Suites Tournament at the Kress Center. It was the second of two matches at the Kress on Friday, as Auburn (1-0) defeated Central Michigan (0-1) 3-2 in the early contest.
The Phoenix hit .227 for the match and registered 47 kills, led by junior Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.) who tallied a match-high 13 to go along with 14 digs. Senior Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) added 12 kills thanks to an impressive .455 hitting percentage, while junior Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) chipped in nine.
Preseason All-Horizon League selection Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) led the Phoenix with 24 digs on the night - just two shy of her school record for digs in a three-set match (26). In addition, last year's Horizon League assists leader Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.) picked up where she left off a season ago, finishing with 36 helpers in the victory.
"It's always great to start the season off with a win," Phoenix head coach Debbie Kirch said. "Winning in three sets is always difficult in volleyball, so it was nice to be able to finish it off strong. I thought we moved the ball around well offensively and our defense was relentless. We just need to be a little more disciplined and improve on some things, but overall it was a good starting point for us."
The Phoenix got off to a bit of a slow start, trailing Drake 12-9 midway through the opening set. The home team responded by scoring five of the next six points to seize the lead and pulled away down the stretch for a 25-19 win.
Green Bay dominated set number two, using early kills from Leitermann and Zabkowicz to jump out to a 12-5 lead. Zabkowicz totaled five kills in the set, including three in the final seven points to ice the 25-13 victory.
Set three saw the Phoenix trailing early once again, forcing Kirch to call a timeout down 5-2. Green Bay came out of the break firing, going on a 10-1 run that included seven kills to regain the lead and the momentum. The Bulldogs cut it to 19-17 late, but the Phoenix held off the visitors to earn the 25-20 set win and the sweep.
The match was the first of three for the Phoenix in its season-opening home tournament. Green Bay is back in action Saturday at the Kress Center, hosting NCAA Tournament qualifier Central Michigan at 12:30 p.m. and SEC foe Auburn 7 p.m.
GREEN BAY/COUNTRY INN & SUITES TOURNAMENT
Friday, August 24 - Results
4:30 p.m. - Auburn 3, Central Michigan 2
7 p.m. - Green Bay 3, Drake 2
Saturday, August 25 - Schedule
10 a.m. - Auburn vs. Drake [Live Stats | Live Video]
12:30 p.m. - Green Bay vs. Central Michigan [Live Stats | Live Video]
4:30 p.m. - Drake vs. Central Michigan [Live Stats | Live Video]
7 p.m. - Green Bay vs. Auburn [Live Stats | Live Video]
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Carmen Leitermann on 3-0 Win Over Drake