Green Bay Drops 3-1 Decision to Youngstown State
By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Playing at home for the first time in nearly three weeks, the Green Bay volleyball team (8-11, 3-3 HL) dropped a 3-1 decision to Youngstown State (12-9, 4-2 HL) on Friday night at the Kress Center. The Phoenix dominated the opening set, but the visiting Penguins claimed three straight to earn the 17-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-19 win and break the tie for third place in the Horizon League standings.
One of the top defensive teams in the conference, Youngstown State recorded 13.5 team blocks and held the Phoenix to a .117 hitting percentage in the match.
“I thought Youngstown State did a nice job of frustrating our hitters with their block,” Green Bay head coach Michaela Franklin said. “They touched our attack a lot and they blocked us a lot. I thought we did some things nice in the first set and played well offensively in spurts, but we just couldn’t really get it going for the whole match. We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us tomorrow against Cleveland State, but I’m really looking forward to what our team can do.”
Senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) had a strong night for the Phoenix, recording her second straight double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) also registered her second double-double in a row with 47 assists and 10 digs. They marked the eighth double-doubles of the year for both players.
Phoenix freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) led all players in the match with 18 kills, while Alexis Egler paced the Penguins with 10. YSU senior Jenna Cavanaugh finished with nine kills on 16 swings while committing just one error (.500.). Cavanaugh, the league’s leader in blocks per set, also finished with seven block assists.
Green Bay led by as many as 11 (20-9) in the first set before finishing off the 25-17 win. Senior Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) got the home team off to a strong start, recording five kills in the opener and helping the Phoenix out-hit the Penguins .276 to -.034.
The momentum shifted in set two, as YSU jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and forced a Phoenix timeout. The Penguins increased their lead to double-digits at 16-6 and were able to maintain it for the 25-15 win. Led by Egler’s three kills on three attempts, YSU was able to hit an impressive .423 in the second set.
The Penguins showed why they are the Horizon League’s top blocking team in sets three and four, recording 8.5 total blocks. Green Bay held a 16-14 lead in the third and had the score tied at 22-22, but three straight YSU points capped off by a double-block put the visitors up 2-1 in the match. The Phoenix trailed by just three (20-17) late in the fourth after a Hurley kill, but another block sparked a 5-2 Penguins run down the stretch that delivered the 3-1 victory.
Green Bay returns to action on Saturday at 4 p.m., welcoming Cleveland State to the Kress Center. The Vikings are coming off a 3-0 loss at Milwaukee on Friday night.
POST-MATCH CLINIC SATURDAY
Green Bay is hosting its final Junior Phoenix Clinic of the season immediately following Saturday’s contest against Cleveland State. The cost of the clinic is $5, which includes a ticket to the match. Parents of children who are interested in attending the clinic can register by contacting assistant coach Kalin Zimmerman at email@example.com.
#For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics and Green Bay Volleyball, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.