Phoenix Dominates NC Central in Wildcat Classic Opener

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
Release: September 14, 2012
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Leah Poel (left) had 26 assists and Leah Van Zeeland (right) had a match-high 11 kills on Friday.

By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)

DAVIDSON, N.C. ( - The Green Bay volleyball team opened the Davidson Wildcat Classic in dominating fashion on Friday afternoon, rolling past NC Central (2-12) 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-17) at Belk Arena. The Phoenix (5-5) has won three of its last four matches and is now 4-0 in neutral-site contests this season.

"I thought we did a good job of playing our way and playing our game," Phoenix head coach Debbie Kirch said. "Our serving and passing was very consistent all match long. I was pleased we were able to take care of business today and get the weekend off to a good start."

Green Bay finished with a staggering advantage in attack percentage, out-hitting NC Central .283 to .028 while also owning a 42-25 lead in the kill column. Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) drilled home a match-high 11 kills to go along with 10 digs, giving the junior her fourth double-double of the year.

Junior Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.) led the Phoenix passing attack with 26 assists, while senior Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) paced the defense with a match-high 23 digs. It marked the fourth time this season that Groth has registered 23 or more digs in a three-set match.

Green Bay rolled in the opener, jumping out to an early 5-1 lead and scoring the set's final 10 points to win 25-12. Van Zeeland had five of her 11 kills in set one, including three to go along with a block during the team's deciding 10-0 run.

After a close start in set two that saw Green Bay leading just 10-9, the Phoenix went on another substantial run (13-4) to open up a 23-13 advantage. The Eagles bounced back to score five of the next six points, but a kill by junior Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.) gave the Phoenix the 25-18 win and the 2-0 lead.

Green Bay used a late run for the third straight set to secure the sweep, out-scoring NC Central 11-4 down the stretch in the third to earn the 25-17 victory and get to .500 for the first time in 2012.

Two Phoenix freshmen made their collegiate debuts on Friday, as Sophie Jaskulske (Maplewood, Minn.) and Stefanie Siroin (Washburn, Wis.) both saw action. Siroin registered her first career point, picking up a kill on her lone swing of the contest late in the third set.

Green Bay resumes competition at the Wildcat Classic with a pair of matches on Saturday, facing High Point at 9 a.m. CT and host Davidson at 4 p.m. CT.


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