Green Bay Resumes Horizon League Play Friday at Milwaukee

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
Release: September 27, 2012
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Green Bay ranks first in the Horizon League in blocks with 2.17 per set.

By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)

GREEN BAY, Wis. ( - Fresh off its come-from-behind win at DePaul on Wednesday night, the Green Bay volleyball team (9-6, 1-1) returns to Horizon League action on Friday when it travels down I-43 to face in-state rival Milwaukee (6-9, 1-1) at 7 p.m. at the Klotsche Center. The Phoenix enters Friday's contest having won eight of its last 11 matches, including six of its last seven.

Fans can follow Green Bay's match at Milwaukee with live stats and free live video on the Horizon League Network. Links can be found on the volleyball schedule page on The official Green Bay volleyball Twitter (@GBPhoenixVB) and Facebook (Green Bay Phoenix Volleyball) accounts will also be posting live updates throughout the match.

Milwaukee, which was picked first in the Horizon League's preseason poll, saw its 26-match regular season conference winning streak come to an end last Saturday when it was swept 3-0 by Cleveland State at the Klotsche Center. Despite the loss, the Panthers have still won 40 of their last 42 regular season league contests.

Looking for their third straight regular season crown and ninth in the last 10 years, the Panthers are paced by sophomore Julie Kolinske, who leads the team with 4.05 kills per set while also ranking second on the team in digs with 3.36 per set. Kolinske has recorded a double-double in seven of her last eight matches, and has had 20 or more kills three times.

Milwaukee owns a 43-13 advantage in the all-time series with Green Bay, dating back to 1984. The Panthers have won nine of the last 10 meetings with the Phoenix, with Green Bay's last win coming Oct. 3, 2008 at the Kress Center. The most recent meeting on Oct. 15, 2011 saw the Phoenix jump out to a 2-0 lead at the Kress Center, but the Panthers rallied to take the final three sets and extend its winning streak to eight against Green Bay.

Green Bay dropped the first two sets to DePaul Wednesday night in Chicago, but came all the way back to earn the 3-2 win. Senior Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) led the way for the Phoenix, posting a 15-kill, seven-dig, seven-block effort in the 22-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-13 victory. Wednesday marked the second time the Phoenix has won after trailing 0-2 this year, as head coach Debbie Kirch's squad completed a similar comeback on Sept. 8 against Bradley in the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Invitational.

Senior libero Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.), the reigning Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week, had a match-high 38 digs at DePaul Wednesday night, moving her into second place on Green Bay's all-time list with 1,531. Groth passed former Phoenix standout and current assistant coach Sarah Rauen, who had 1,519 digs from 2003-06.

Groth leads the Horizon League with a 6.1 digs per set average, and she entered the week ranked fifth among all NCAA Division I players in the statistical category. As a team, Green Bay ranks first in the conference and fourth in the nation in digs per set, averaging 18.39.

Green Bay has the best record of any Horizon League school over the last 10 matches (7-3) ... In addition to leading the Horizon League in digs (1,085) and digs per set (18.39), the Phoenix also is tops in the conference in blocks per set, averaging 2.17 ... Green Bay's 15 team blocks against Youngstown State last Saturday were the most by any Horizon League team this season ... Junior Katie Mroczenski is the Horizon League's top individual blocker, averaging 1.14 blocks per set, while Leitermann also ranks in the top-10 (10th, 0.81 per set) ... Leitermann currently ranks third in the conference in hitting percentage (.319), recording 165 kills and 35 errors in 407 attempts ... Groth needs 259 more digs to surpass Megan Elfering (1,789 from 2005-08) as Green Bay's career digs leader. If Groth maintains her 6.1 digs per set average, it would take 43 more sets to break the record ... Monica Anderson leads the Phoenix in kills with 168, while Lyndsay Zabkowicz is first on the team in kills per set with 2.88. Both players rank in the top-10 in the conference in kills per set, as Zabkowicz is ninth and Anderson (2.85) is eighth ... Leah Poel leads Green Bay with 578 assists, averaging nearly 10 per set. Her 9.97 average is good for fifth in the Horizon League, and she is also second in the conference in double-doubles with 10 (Milwaukee's Kolinske has 13).

Green Bay head coach Debbie Kirch joined host Ryan Hartwig on Wednesday for a special game day edition of Match Point. The two previewed the DePaul and Milwaukee matches, and also recapped a busy weekend at the Kress Center that included two Horizon League matches, the first ever Serve with the Phoenix and the Junior Phoenix Clinic. To watch this week's show, click here.

Green Bay continues its four-match road stretch next weekend, making a trip to Chicago for a pair of Horizon League contests. The Phoenix first visits UIC on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on Loyola on Saturday at 4 p.m.


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