By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – After a record-breaking performance against nationally-ranked Ohio State on Saturday, Green Bay volleyball senior Katie Mroczenski (New Berlin, Wis.) has been named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Aug. 26-Sept. 1, the conference office announced Tuesday. It marked the first such award of Mroczenski's career.
Mroczenski’s 18 total blocks in Green Bay’s thrilling, five-set loss to the No. 23 Buckeyes shattered the Phoenix school record of 13 set by Marie Kaland Nicol in 1992. In addition, her seven solo blocks also broke Kaland’s mark of six from the 1995 season.
“Katie had a wonderful weekend,” Phoenix head coach Michaela Franklin said. “I could see her confidence go up as the weekend went on. I believe she has now embraced becoming a threat to our opponents at the net.”
Mroczenski was just one block shy of tying the Horizon League’s single-match record of 19 total blocks, set by Milwaukee’s Maddie Sueppel in 2009. Green Bay’s 21 total blocks against Ohio State were the second-most in school history, trailing only the 23 the Phoenix had on Nov. 5, 2004 against Wright State.
After one week of play, Mroczenski leads all Horizon League players with 23 total blocks – eight more than the next closest player – and has an average of 1.77 blocks per set.
The Phoenix posted a 1-2 record at the challenging, season-opening NIU Invitational over the weekend, beating Liberty 3-0 and dropping a pair of hard-fought five-setters against NIU and OSU. Green Bay is back in action this week at the Auburn Active Ankle Challenge in Auburn, Ala. The Phoenix will open the tournament on Thursday against Troy (12 p.m.) and Auburn (7 p.m.) before taking on Mercer on Friday at 5 p.m.
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