Nov. 2, 2007
GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay volleyball team (5-18, 3-11) took Horizon League leader Milwaukee to the limit before dropping a hard-fought 3-2 decision Friday night in front of 1,027 fans in the first-ever match at the brand-new Kress Center. The final score was 30-23, 30-28, 28-30, 29-31, 15-8 in favor of the Panthers.
Milwaukee (23-2, 13-1) swept the two-match season series between the in-state rivals, but five of the eight games between the two teams were decided by three points or less. The Panthers extended their winning streak to nine matches and clinched at least a share of the league title.
Milwaukee scored the opening point in game one and never trailed en route to an easy win. Green Bay also got behind early, in game two, 10-4, but hung in and was able to get back within one in the late stages. After the Phoenix pulled within 29-28 courtesy of a Nikki Hintze (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) kill, Milwaukee's Jamie Gabrielsen slammed the door with the game-winner. But the close game gave the Phoenix confidence.
The Phoenix stormed out of the gate in game three, surging to a 6-1 advantage. Green Bay enjoyed a 19-13 lead before Milwaukee scored seven of the next nine points to close within a point at 21-20. The Panthers then took the lead for the first time at 27-26. However, Liesl Tesch (New Berlin) caught fire, picking up a block assist and two kills in the final five points to give Green Bay a 30-28 victory.
Tesch also dominated the latter stages of game four, as the Phoenix pulled out an extra-points win. Tesch, who finished with a team-high 19 kills, buried the team's final three points to tie the match at two apiece.
In the deciding game, UWM used a 6-0 run to grab an 8-3 lead. Green Bay closed to within 9-6, but Milwaukee rattled off three straight points to end the uprising and pick up a seven-point game five win. The Panthers hit .471 in the fifth game, while Green Bay hit .000.
It was the final home match for the squad's two seniors -- Betty Slinger (Faribault, Minn.) and Leah Steinbauer (Medford, Minn.). Slinger finished with 56 assists to move into second place on the all-time school charts with 3,684. Meanwhile, Steinbauer tallied a career-high 11 blocks in the loss.
Green Bay is next in action next Friday at Butler. The Phoenix closes out the regular season Saturday, Nov. 10 at Wright State.