GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Green Bay honored its four seniors Saturday at the Kress Events Center and junior Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) broke her own school record with a career-high 38 digs, but the Phoenix (10-16, 6-8 HL) fell to visiting Wright State (6-22, 5-10 HL) Saturday afternoon 3-1 (28-26, 24-26, 25-23, 25-21) in Horizon League volleyball action.
Head coach Debbie Kirch and the Phoenix recognized its four seniors - Alison Bohnen (St. Germain, Wis.), Abbey Gitter (Hortonville, Wis.), Kelly Mischler (Kaukauna, Wis.) and Carlie Willison (Greenfield, Wis.) - after the conclusion of the match.
By winning close sets and ultimately pulling out the match, Wright State spoiled the celebration for the seniors and for Groth, whose 38 digs broke a school for digs in a 4-set match that she broke on Oct. 28 with 35 against Loyola. The Horizon League leader in digs and digs per set now has 35 or more digs four times this season and is just two digs shy of breaking the single-season digs of 577 set by Megan Elfering in 2008.
Despite falling behind 17-12, Green Bay had a set point in the opening set when an error by Dani Branco made it 25-24 Phoenix. The Raiders used a kill to tie it and then benefitted from a service error and an attack error to win the opener 28-26.
Junior Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) had five kills and no errors in the first set for Green Bay and finished the match with 14 kills and four errors for a .303 hitting percentage. She added six blocks and now has 262 for her career to rank ninth in program history.
Green Bay led 24-21 in set two before Wright State rallied to tie the set at 24. However, a WSU service error and and a kill from Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) ended the set and squared the match at a set apiece. Van Zeeland matched Leitermann with a team-high 14 kills but also had 10 errors in the match.
Groth had 15 of her school-record dig total in the second set as the Phoenix held Wright State to a .104 hitting percentage. The junior now has 576 digs in 2011 and 1,088 in her career, good for ninth all-time. She now has six of the nine best single-match dig efforts, including four this season.
The third set was also up for grabs despite the Phoenix trailing by five (16-11) midway through. Getting four kills from Van Zeeland, Green Bay went on a 9-4 run to tie the set at 20. Wright State regained the lead, however, and closed out the set, 25-23.
Gitter used a kill to tie the score at 19 as the fourth set was up for grabs as well. Like it did in the third set, WSU scored two points in a row and did not relinquish its lead in closing out the match and handing the Phoenix a difficult loss.
Gitter finished with 13 kills for the Phoenix while sophomore Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) had her best match of the 2011 season with 11 kills. Sophomore setter Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.) had 52 assists and 12 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. Sophomore Sabrina Marunowski (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Van Zeeland also tallied double-digit dig numbers with 16 and 14, respectively.
Green Bay has two road matches remaining before the 2011 Horizon League Championship gets underway on Nov. 18 in Milwaukee. The Phoenix will play at Youngstown State on Friday at 6 p.m. and at Cleveland State Saturday at 3 p.m.
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