Green Bay Rolls Past South Dakota in UND Classic Finale
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay (3-4) volleyball team wrapped up the UND Classic Saturday evening with a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-21, 25-21) of South Dakota (3-4) at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, N.D. Junior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) paced the Phoenix with a double-double, recording 11 kills and 12 digs in the win.
"I really liked how we responded after the disappointing loss to North Dakota," Green Bay head coach Debbie Kirch said. "It's tough playing back-to-back matches in tournaments, and I think all our hard work from the summer showed in how strong we played in the third match of the weekend."
The Phoenix held the advantage in nearly every statistical category, finishing with the edge in kills (46-39), hitting percentage (.233-.192), assists (43-35) and digs (61-44). Van Zeeland hit .450 for the match and also had six digs and four blocks. Joining her in double-figure kills was Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.), who had 10. South Dakota's Amber Aschoff led all players with 15.
Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.) celebrated her 20th birthday on Saturday by notching her fifth straight double-double, dishing out 32 assists to go along with 13 digs. Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) led three Phoenix players with double-digit digs with 16. The senior has reached double-figures in all seven matches this season.
Green Bay never trailed in the opening set, as Kirch's squad jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. A Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) kill extended the advantage to 8-2, and the Phoenix held a 21-16 lead late. The Coyotes scored the next two points to cut it to three, but Green Bay finished strong with four straight points to secure the 25-18 win.
In set two it was South Dakota that got out to a 4-0 lead, forcing a Phoenix timeout. Green Bay regrouped and rattled off eight of the next nine points to go on top 8-5, and a kill by Katie Mroczenski (New Berlin, Wis.) gave the Phoenix an 18-15 edge. The Coyotes battled to tie it at 19-19, but back-to-back kills by Van Zeeland put the Phoenix back on top. A kill by Poel pushed it to 23-21, and two straight kills by Zabkowicz ended it at 25-21.
Two more Zabkowicz kills made it 8-7 Phoenix to start set three, and three straight attack errors by South Dakota increased Green Bay's lead to 11-7. A Van Zeeland service ace forced a Coyote timeout at 17-11, and the Phoenix maintained the six-point advantage at 20-14. A kill by Aschoff got South Dakota to within 21-19, but the Phoenix pulled away down the stretch for the 25-21 win and its second sweep of the season.
GROTH EARNS ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS
Groth led the Phoenix defense with 61 digs on the weekend to earn All-Tournament honors. Joining Groth on the All-Tournament team were South Dakota's Amber Aschoff, Stephen F. Austin's Katzy Randall and Madison Hanlan, and North Dakota's Lauren Clarke, Nikki Husfeldt and Lisa Parlich. Parlich was named the UND Classic MVP.
Green Bay returns to action next weekend at the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Invitational in Brookings, S.D. The Phoenix will face the host Jackrabbits on Friday at 7 p.m. and wrap things up on Saturday against Bradley at 1 p.m.
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