GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Coming off its first Horizon League victory of the season over the weekend, the Green Bay volleyball team (8-6, 1-1 Horizon League) takes a break from conference play Wednesday night to face BIG EAST opponent DePaul (5-9, 0-2 BIG EAST) in Chicago. The contest, slated for 7 p.m. at McGrath-Phillips Arena, opens a four-match road stretch for the Phoenix, which has won five of its last six matches and seven of its last 10.
Fans can follow Green Bay's match at DePaul with live stats and live video, which 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 match.
SCOUTING THE BLUE
DePaul is looking to snap a three-match losing streak, and is coming off a pair of BIG EAST losses to No. 10 Louisville and Cincinnati over the weekend. DePaul is 1-2 at home this season, but has not played at McGrath-Phillips Arena since hosting the DePaul Invite Aug. 24-25.
The Blue Demons are paced by a pair of newcomers in junior transfer Vesela Zapryanova and freshman Callie Huebener. Zapryanova has a team-high 172 kills on the year, averaging 3.19 kills per set, and Huebener is second on the roster with 141 kills. The two have combined for seven double-doubles this season (kills and digs), as Huebener has four and Zapryanova has three.
Green Bay and DePaul will square off for the first time since Oct. 3, 2006, when the Phoenix picked up a 3-2 victory in the Phoenix Sports Center. The last time the two teams met in Chicago was during the 2005 season, a match the Phoenix took 3-1. Green Bay has won four of the last five meetings with the Blue Demons, including each of the last three. DePaul won the first 12 meetings between the two schools (1988-2001), giving them a 13-4 advantage in the all-time series.
LAST TIME OUT
Green Bay split its Horizon League-opening matches at the Kress Center over the weekend, defeating Youngstown State in five sets on Saturday after falling 3-1 to Cleveland State on Friday. Junior right side Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) had a strong weekend for the Phoenix, highlighted by her 18-kill, 21-dig, eight-block performance in the win over the Penguins. Van Zeeland led four Phoenix players in double-figure kills against YSU, as Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) had 13, and Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) and Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.) had 12 apiece.
GROTH EARNS HORIZON
Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) picked up Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week honors on Monday after recording 31 digs in each of her two matches over the weekend. The senior libero pushed her season average to 5.96 digs per set - a figure that currently ranks fifth among all NCAA Division I players. With a league-leading 322 digs already in 2012, Groth has increased her career total to 1,493 and is just 26 shy of tying current Phoenix assistant coach Sarah Rauen for second on Green Bay's all-time list (1,519). Groth needs 297 more digs to surpass Megan Elfering (1,789 from 2005-08) as the school's career leader.
Van Zeeland's kill (18), dig (21) and block (8) totals on Saturday against YSU were all season highs for the junior, while her dig and block numbers set new career bests ... Katie Mroczenski had 11 total blocks in Green Bay's two matches over the weekend, and now leads the Horizon League with 1.15 blocks per set ... Leitermann had one solo block against Cleveland State, giving her 92 for her career. The senior, currently second on the school's all-time list, needs six more solo blocks to pass Marie Kaland (97 from 1992-95) as Green Bay's career leader ... Green Bay has been one of the Horizon League's top defensive teams through the first 14 matches, ranking first in blocks (2.13/set) and digs (18.43/set) ... In addition to Groth and Mroczenski leading in a statistical category, the Phoenix has a number of other players who rank in the conference's top-10. Leitermann currently ranks third in hitting percentage (.316), Leah Poel is fifth in assists (10.06/set), Van Zeeland is seventh in service aces (14), and Zabkowicz (8th, 2.93/set) and Anderson (10th, 2.87/set) are both in the top-10 in kills.
Green Bay head coach Debbie Kirch joins host Ryan Hartwig for a special game day edition of Match Point. This week's show previews the DePaul match, and also recaps the busy weekend at the Kress Center for Green Bay volleyball.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE
Green Bay returns to Horizon League action on Friday when it travels to face Milwaukee at 7 p.m. at the Klotsche Center.
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