Groth Breaks Career Digs Record as Phoenix Sweeps Wright State
DAYTON, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Needing just three digs to break the school's career record, Green Bay senior Brittany Groth (Oak Creek, Wis.) registered a match-high 27 on Friday night to help the Phoenix volleyball team sweep Wright State 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-21) at the C.J. McLin Gymnasium. The Phoenix, which has secured the No. 5 seed in next weekend's Horizon League Tournament, improves to 15-12 overall and 6-7 in the conference, while the Raiders drop to 2-29 overall and 0-13 against league opponents.
Despite recording just six as a freshman in 2009, Groth has amassed 1,814 digs in her four-year career at Green Bay, moving her ahead of former Phoenix standout Megan Elfering, who had 1,789 from 2005-08. Groth's 27 digs on Friday were the second-most in school history in a three-set match, just two shy of her own school record of 29 which she set earlier this season against Auburn.
In addition, Groth's 27 digs pushed her season total to 643, which is just 16 shy of tying her single season school record of 659 that she set as a junior in 2011.
Green Bay has now won five of its last seven contests, including three of its last four. The win also marked Green Bay's second sweep of the Raiders this season, as the Phoenix also won 3-0 on Oct. 9 at the Kress Center.
"It was good to win this one in three," Green Bay head coach Debbie Kirch said. "Wright State played hard and we had to fight for every point. Every conference win is important, and so is winning on the road."
Senior Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) had a team-high 12 kills on 24 swings (.417) to lead a trio of Phoenix players in double-figures on Friday. Juniors Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.) and Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) had 11 apiece as Green Bay finished with a 50-36 advantage in kills and a .281 to .167 edge in hitting percentage.
Green Bay started out strong in set one, cruising to a 25-17 victory. Back-to-back kills by Zabkowicz opened up a six-point Phoenix lead (14-8) midway through, and another Zabkowicz kill gave the visitors their largest advantage at 23-13. After three straight points by the Raiders, Zabkowicz found the floor for the fourth time in the opening set, moving the Phoenix ahead 1-0.
The Phoenix had to come from behind in the second, as the Raiders built a 10-6 lead out of the gate and led 23-20 late. Two straight kills by Taylor Kasal (Westmont, Ill.) and Zabkowicz got it to 23-22, and back-to-back WSU errors gave the Phoenix the lead at 24-23. A kill by Leitermann gave Green Bay its third set-point chance at 26-25, and Zabkowicz ended it once again at 27-25 to put the Phoenix on top 2-0.
The third saw Green Bay leading by nine (20-11) following a kill by Katie Mroczenski (New Berlin, Wis.), but Wright State battled back with a 9-3 run to cut it to three (23-20). Kasal answered with a kill to give the Phoenix a match-point opportunity at 24-20, and a WSU attack error ended the set and the match at 25-21.
Junior setter Leah Poel (Jenison, Mich.) had a solid night for the Phoenix, recording a match-high 39 assists as well as six kills. Mroczenski posted a team-best five blocks to go along with six kills. WSU's Heidi Splinter led all players with 15 kills.
Green Bay is back in action on Saturday at 7 p.m. when it takes on Valpo in the regular season finale at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind.
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