Green Bay's Season Ends in Horizon League Quarterfinals
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay volleyball team’s 2013 season came to an end on Friday night as the fourth-seeded Phoenix dropped a 3-2 decision to fifth-seeded Youngstown State in the Horizon League Championship Quarterfinals at the Klotsche Center. Green Bay ends the year with a 14-14 overall record, while the Penguins (16-14) move on to Saturday’s semifinal round.
While last Saturday’s meeting between the two teams resulted in a 3-0 Phoenix sweep, Friday’s contest was an intense five-setter that went the distance. The Phoenix rebounded from a first-set loss to go up 2-1, but the Penguins grabbed sets four and five in the 25-21, 23-25, 17-25, 25-17, 15-11 win.
Green Bay’s Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.), the Horizon League Freshman of the Year, led all players with 20 kills, while sophomore Mikaela Gunderson (Casco, Wis.) and senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) also reached double-figures with 15 and 10, respectively.
Youngstown State was led by Alexis Egler, who posted a double-double with 18 kills and 19 digs.
The Penguins never trailed in the deciding fifth set, scoring three of the first four points and maintaining their three-point lead at 10-7. Hurley drove home two straight kills to cut it to one at 10-9, but YSU finished off the set and the match by scoring five of the final seven points in the 15-11 win.
Youngstown State built a seven-point lead (14-7) in the opener and held on for the 25-21 win. The Phoenix cut it to one at 17-16, but was unable to pull even as YSU out-hit Green Bay .289 to .119 and ran away down the stretch. The Penguins were paced by junior Shannon Watson in the first, who had five of her nine kills.
Hurley helped the Phoenix even the match at 1-1, hammering home eight of her 20 kills in the 25-23 second-set win. Green Bay led by a small margin for most of the set, but YSU battled back to take the lead at 20-19. That’s when Hurley took over, scoring four of Green Bay’s final five points in the two-point victory.
Set three was all Green Bay, as the Phoenix opened with a 10-1 run and led by as many as 11 (14-3). The Penguins got no closer than seven the rest of the way, as the Phoenix went up 2-1 with the 25-17 triumph.
After a back-and-forth start to the fourth (13-12), YSU used a 7-2 run to open up a 20-14 lead before pulling away for the 25-17 win. The Penguins had five of their 12 blocks in the fourth and held the Phoenix to an .091 hitting percentage.
YSU will play either top-seeded Milwaukee or No. 2 Valparaiso on Saturday, depending on the winner of Friday night’s No. 3 Oakland versus No. 6 Cleveland State match.
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