CLEVELAND, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Fresh off a hard-fought, five-set victory at Youngstown State on Friday night, the Green Bay volleyball team (12-11, 3-6 HL) dropped a 3-0 decision to Cleveland State (16-6, 8-1 HL) Saturday afternoon at Woodling Gymnasium in Cleveland. The 25-16, 25-22, 25-23 win marked the sixth in a row for the first-place Vikings.
"I thought we actually played pretty well despite losing in three," Phoenix head coach Debbie Kirch said. "We got off to a slow start, but made good adjustments. We played well defensively and stayed aggressive on the offensive end. Cleveland State is a good team - just a couple of runs here and there made the difference."
Green Bay led 8-7 early in set one, but Cleveland State rattled off six straight points to open up a 13-8 advantage. The Vikings extended their lead to seven (21-14), and a kill by Dayna Roberts gave the hosts the 25-16 victory and the 1-0 edge. CSU finished the set with a .235 to .000 advantage in hitting percentage, holding the Phoenix to six kills while forcing six errors.
The Phoenix jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second, but the Vikings rallied once again and moved ahead 8-7. Back-to-back kills by Kara Koch gave the Vikings a 15-12 lead, and CSU grabbed its largest advantage of the set (19-15) after a kill by Maggie Hannon. Two straight points by freshmen Taylor Kasal (Westmont, Ill.) and Becca Mastey (Pulaski, Wis.) got Green Bay to within one at 21-20, but the Vikings took four of the next six to win 25-22.
Set three was tight throughout, and the Phoenix led 21-19 late after a kill by Katie Mroczenski (New Berlin, Wis.). Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) got it to 22-20 in favor of the Phoenix with a kill, but back-to-back kills by CSU's Marie Frease followed by another by Koch gave the hosts a 23-22 advantage. Kasal found the floor to tie things up at 23-23, but it was the last point the Phoenix would score as two straight errors ended it at 25-23.
Frease led all players with 10 kills, while Koch finished with nine. Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek, Wis.) paced the Phoenix with eight kills, while Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) and Anderson added seven apiece.
Green Bay has one match next week, a 7 p.m. meeting with in-state rival Milwaukee on Friday, Oct. 26 at the Kress Center. The match opens the team's final regular season homestand, as the Phoenix hosts Loyola (Nov. 2) and UIC (Nov. 3) the following weekend.
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