By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - For the
fifth time in her standout career and the second time in 2012, Green Bay
volleyball senior Brittany Groth
(Oak Creek, Wis.) has been selected as the Horizon League Defensive Player of
the Week for the period of Sept. 17-23, the conference office announced Monday.
Groth, who also
won the award on Aug. 27 this season, averaged 6.9 digs per set over the
weekend as the Phoenix (8-6, 1-1 Horizon League) split its league-opening home
matches against Cleveland
State (L, 1-3) and Youngstown
State (W, 3-2). The senior had 31 digs in each contest, pushing her season
average to 5.96 digs per set - a figure that ranks third among all NCAA
Division I players.
"It's very impressive the impact Brittany has made
nationally and it's nice to see her get recognition for it," Phoenix head coach
Debbie Kirch said. "We have a very
strong defensive core and it starts with our libero. As a coach, you always
want to see seniors having the best seasons of their careers - that's what it
is all about. It's hard to believe, but I think there are still areas she can
improve and be even better than she is right now."
With a league-leading 322 digs in 2012, Groth has
increased her career total to 1,493 and is just 26 shy of tying current Phoenix
assistant coach Sarah Rauen for
second on Green Bay's all-time list (1,519). Groth needs 297 more digs to
surpass Megan Elfering (1,789 from 2005-08) as the school's career leader.
Groth has helped the Phoenix win five of its last six
matches, and seven of its last 10. After the brief homestand over the weekend,
Green Bay heads back on the road for four straight, beginning at DePaul on Wednesday
at 7 p.m. The Phoenix then returns to Horizon League action on Friday at
Milwaukee at 7 p.m.
Leah Van Zeeland made a strong case for player
of the week honors with her 18-kill, 21-dig, eight-block performance in
win over Youngstown State. All three were season highs for the Phoenix
junior, while the dig and block numbers set new career bests ... Katie Mroczenski had 11 total blocks in
Green Bay's two matches over the weekend, and now leads the Horizon League with
1.15 blocks per set ... Carmen Leitermann had one solo block against Cleveland
State, giving her 92 for her career. The senior, currently second on the school's
all-time list, needs six more solo blocks to pass Marie Kaland (97 from 1992-95)
as Green Bay's career leader ... Green Bay has been one of the Horizon League's
top defensive teams through the first 14 matches, ranking first in blocks
(2.13/set) and digs (18.43/set) ... In addition to Groth and Mroczenski leading in
a statistical category, the Phoenix has a number of other players who rank in
the conference's top-10. Leitermann currently ranks third in hitting percentage
(.316), Leah Poel is fifth in
assists (10.06/set), Van Zeeland is seventh in service aces (14), and Lyndsay Zabkowicz (8th, 2.93/set) and Monica Anderson (10th, 2.87/set) are both
in the top-10 in kills.
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