Oct. 3, 2008
GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay volleyball team (7-8, 3-2 HL) made a stunning comeback Friday night at the Kress Center, bouncing back from two sets down to defeat rival Milwaukee (10-4, 3-1 HL) by a 3-2 count. The Phoenix had lost nine straight matches to the Panthers since defeating them to win the 2003 Horizon League Championship.
Green Bay is now 12-26 all time against the Panthers. Each set featured lopsided scores, as the team that struck first pounced early and often. The entire match included just nine ties and one lead change.
The Panthers dominated the opening two sets, leading wire-to-wire in both, cruising to 25-18 and 25-15 victories. However, the Phoenix stormed out of the locker room to earn an 8-3 lead in the third set. That burst helped propel Green Bay to a 25-18 victory. Green Bay jumped on Milwaukee early again in the fourth set and ultimately boosted the lead to 19-12 en route to the 25-18 win.
The fifth set was the most competitive, as its five ties were one more than occurred in the first four sets combined. However, after Milwaukee closed to within 9-8, the Phoenix scored six of the final eight points to stun the Panthers, who entered the match unbeaten in three Horizon League contests.
The key for the Phoenix was side-out percentage. In the first two sets, the Phoenix had just a 44 percent success rate, but improved to a 77 percent clip over the final three sets, highlighted by an 89 percent success rate in the final set.
Abby Bergsma (Appleton, Wis.) was dominant for the Phoenix, picking up a season-high 20 kills, while hitting .543. Holly Visser (Waupun, Wis.), who had the match-winning kill, collected another double-double, netting 10 kills and 16 digs. Rochelle Meulemans (Kaukauna, Wis.) came off the bench to pick up 20 assists in the final two-plus sets.
Green Bay has now won two straight and three of its last four matches. In addition, the Phoenix surpassed last year's win total with Friday's victory. The Phoenix is next in action Monday at the Kress Center against Loyola at 7 p.m.