By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The No. 10/10 Green Bay (27-1, 17-1 HL) women's basketball team will open postseason play hosting No. 9 seed Valpo (10-20, 5-13 HL) in a quarterfinal game of the Horizon League Championship Wednesday, Mar. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Events Center.
As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Green Bay earned a first round bye while Valpo advanced past the first round, winning its first Horizon League tournament victory, knocking off No. 8 seed Milwaukee 47-39.
Green Bay enters the Horizon League Championship looking to defend its title. The Phoenix has won 11 conference tournament championships, 10 in the Horizon League. Under reigning Horizon League Coach of the Year Matt Bollant, Green Bay is 8-2 in Horizon League Championship play, winning two championship titles (2009 and 2011).
Valpo comes to Green Bay playing its best basketball of the season. The Crusaders beat third-place Wright State (19-11, 12-6 HL) Mar. 1 with a 70-60 win before falling just six points shy in a 48-42 loss against second-place Detroit (18-12, 14-4 HL) in their regular season finale Mar. 3.
Wednesday's quarterfinal game marks the first time Valpo and Green Bay will meet in Horizon League postseason play. Both teams met in the North Star Conference Tournament Mar. 8, 1991 in which the Crusaders claimed a 72-69 win in the semifinal contest.
DEFENSIVE BATTLE... Wednesday's game will feature a defensive battle among the League's best. Green Bay leads the league in scoring defense, holding its opponents to an average 54.9 points per game while Valpo is second holding its opponents to 56.7 points per contest. Reigning Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) was joined on the All-Defensive Team by Valpo junior Laura Richards who is second in the league with 2.8 steals per contest compared to Wojta's league-best 3.5.
REGULAR SEASON REWIND... Green Bay outscored Valpo 137-73 in the season series, scoring 72 points in the paint. Green Bay's defense forced the Crusaders a combined 55 turnovers while holding Valpo to an average of 36.5 points per game. Wojta posted a double double in both contests totaling 35 points and 20 rebounds while Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) poured in a combined 28 points.
POSTSEASON ACCOLADES... Winning its 14th consecutive regular season conference title, the nation's longest active streak, Green Bay topped Horizon League postseason honors, bringing home six awards.
For the second consecutive season, a Green Bay women's basketball player earned Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors as Wojta claimed both awards. Wojta was also a First Team All-League and All-League Defensive Team selection.
Wojta is the eighth player in Green Bay history to earn Horizon League Player of the Year honors and second to be recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year but first to have sole possession of both honors in the same season.
Junior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) earned her first postseason accolade as a Second Team All-League selection while fifth-year head coach Matt Bollant earned his second consecutive and fourth Coach of the Year honor.
FOLLOW IT LIVE... Fans can follow a live video stream of Wednesday's game on horizonleague.org here. To track live stats, click here. The quarterfinal contest will also be broadcast live on Time Warner Sports32 with Chris Roth and Brian Nicol with the call.
Ticket packages for the women's Horizon League Championship are currently on sale with the Green Bay ticket office. For more information or to purchase, click here.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix and @gbphoenixwbb.