By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Green Bay junior Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 24-30, the league office announced on Monday morning. The Phoenix libero was given the honor for the second time in 2011 and third time in her career.
Groth was awarded for her impressive performance against Loyola in Green Bay's 3-1 win on Friday night. She tallied 35 digs against the Ramblers and in the process broke the school record for digs in a four-set match. The old record of 34 was set in 2005 by current Phoenix assistant Sarah Rauen.
"We are really proud of Brittany," said head coach Debbie Kirch. "She has really dedicated herself to be the best she can be and her relentlessness on Friday was evident. I felt she was everywhere on the court defensively and her passing was unbelievable. We came out a little flat as a team, and she provided the spark that we needed."
During the second set of the match, a set where she had a staggering 12 digs, Groth also tallied her 1,000th dig of her career. She now has 1,025 digs and will move into the top-10 on the program's career list with 19 more digs. Making the total more impressive, she has 1,019 of her digs in the past two seasons.
To hear reaction from Groth after the match, click here.
This season, Groth leads the Horizon League in digs per set (5.52/set) and is also in the top 25 nationally in the category. With 513 digs in 2011, she needs just 65 more digs to break the school's single-season record held by Megan Elfering, who had 577 in 2008.
Groth previously won the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week award on Oct. 11, 2010 and Sept. 26, 2011. Green Bay has won six weekly league awards in the past two seasons (four defensive, two offensive).
The junior's performance helped the Phoenix win its second match in a row to get back to .500 in Horizon League play. Green Bay hosts its final two home matches of 2011 this week, beginning with Butler on Thursday at 7 p.m. Wright State will then visit the Kress Center on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Notes... Despite being overshadowed by Groth, the Phoenix offense had one of its best performances of the season against Loyola. Green Bay hit .295 in the match, a season high against a league opponent ... Sophomore Leah Poel's 56 assists against the Ramblers were a season-high in a four-set match and her third-highest total of 2011 ... Junior Carmen Leitermann has 33 kills and just four errors in the team's last two matches ... Sophomore Leah Van Zeeland had 16 kills, her highest total since posting 19 on Sept. 24 against UIC ... Green Bay is in the top-5 in the league in six of seven statistical categories, including digs (2nd) and hitting percentage (.209) ... Groth is averaging 6.62 digs per set in conference play, 1.3 more than second place.
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