By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green
Bay volleyball team (10-10, 1-5 HL) dropped a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-19)
decision to visiting Valparaiso (12-9, 4-2 HL) on Friday night in front of 388
fans at the Kress Center. The Crusaders were paced by Ellen Vanden Berg's 16
kills and Taylor Root's 34 digs, which helped their team snap a two-match
losing streak against the Phoenix.
Valpo finished with a 51-31 advantage in the kill
department, out-hitting the Phoenix .217 to .115. Vanden Berg's 16 kills came
on just 26 attempts, good for a .615 hitting percentage. Joining Vanden Berg in
double-figure kills was Mary Dent, who tallied 12 while hitting .296.
Green Bay was led by Lyndsay Zabkowicz (Oak Creek,
Wis.), who had a team-high nine kills to go along with 11 digs. Carmen Leitermann (Schofield, Wis.) registered a team-best five blocks, including
the 96th solo block of her career. The senior needs just one more to tie former
Phoenix standout Marie Kaland (97 from 1992-95) atop the school's all-time
The contest featured two of the Horizon League's and the
NCAA's top liberos in Valpo's Root and Green Bay's Brittany Groth (Oak
Creek, Wis.). Root's 34 digs on Friday were the most by any Horizon League
player in a three-set match this season, besting Groth's school-record mark of
29 that she had against Auburn on Aug. 25. Groth, who entered Friday's match
ranked fourth in the country in digs per set, finished with a team-high 24 to
improve her average to 6.17.
The Crusaders started fast, jumping out to a 12-5 lead in
set number one before putting the Phoenix away 25-19. Valpo out-hit Green Bay
.184 to .095 in the opener, forcing seven Phoenix attack errors.
Set two once again saw the visitors surge out to a 12-5
lead following one of Vanden Berg's seven kills in the set. Green Bay battled
to get it to within five late (20-15), but the Crusaders rattled off the final
five points to take the 2-0 lead with a 25-15 win.
Back-to-back Valpo kills made it 12-6 in the third,
forcing a Phoenix timeout. Green Bay fought to keep it close down the stretch,
trailing by just two at 19-17, but the Crusaders pulled away for the 25-19
victory and the sweep.
Green Bay is back in action tomorrow when it wraps up its
three-match homestand and the first half of the Horizon League schedule against
Wright State (2-21, 0-6 HL) at 4 p.m. The Raiders are coming off a 3-1 loss at
Milwaukee on Friday night.
the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics and Green Bay
Volleyball, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix @GBPhoenixVB
Like Green Bay
Phoenix Athletics and Green
Bay Phoenix Volleyball on Facebook.