GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – After eight straight road matches to start the season, the Green Bay volleyball team (4-4) will finally play its 2013 home opener on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against in-state rival Marquette (4-3). It will mark the first match at the Kress Center for first-year head coach Michaela Franklin, who spent the last four seasons as an assistant with the Golden Eagles.
TV TIME FOR THE PHOENIX Tuesday’s match between the Phoenix and the Golden Eagles will be aired on a tape-delayed basis on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. Matt Menzl will handle the play-by-play duties, while Brian Nicol will provide the color commentary. The broadcast will first air at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. To see the full replay schedule, click here.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES Under the direction of fifth-year head coach Bond Shymansky, Marquette is off to a 4-3 start in 2013 and most recently posted a 2-1 record at last weekend’s Florida Gulf Coast Airport Volleyball Classic. The Golden Eagles fell to then-No. 3 Penn State in three sets before wrapping up the tournament with wins over FGCU (3-0) and Central Arkansas (3-2). All three Marquette losses this year have been to ranked opponents, as the Golden Eagles also fell to No. 3 USC and No. 13 BYU.
Freshman Autumn Bailey leads the Marquette offense with 113 kills, hitting .247 on the year. Her 4.19 kills-per-set average ranks 29th among all NCAA Division I players. Junior Lindsey Gosh is also off to a strong start for the Golden Eagles with 65 kills and a .318 hitting percentage. Gosh was named to the all-tournament team at FGCU last weekend after a 17-kill, eight-block effort in the win over Central Arkansas.
Tuesday’s contest marks the 38th meeting between the two in-state rivals, with Marquette leading the all-time series 28-9. The Golden Eagles have won the previous 13 meetings, as Green Bay’s most recent win was on Sept. 17, 1996 in Milwaukee. Marquette has won the last five matches played in Green Bay, including the most recent 3-1 result in 2010 when Franklin was a member of the Golden Eagles’ coaching staff.
Marquette is coming off a 2012 season in which it went 27-7 overall (13-2 BIG EAST) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
STIFF COMPETITION Green Bay has seven matches on its 2013 schedule against opponents who played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Phoenix faced No. 23 Ohio State and Liberty at the NIU Invitational, and most recently played a pair of road matches at Northern Iowa. Following the meeting with Marquette, the Phoenix still has two contests against defending Horizon League champion Cleveland State on Oct. 19 and Nov. 15.
LAST TIME OUT Green Bay had its four match-winning streak come to an end over the weekend, dropping a pair of tough road contests at Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls on Saturday. The host Panthers took the first match 3-1 before sweeping the night cap 3-0. The doubleheader marked the first time in school history that Green Bay played the same team twice on the same day.
TOURNAMENT CHAMPS! Green Bay claimed the Auburn Active Ankle Challenge Sept. 5-6 in Auburn, Ala., posting a perfect 3-0 record and extending its winning streak to four matches. The Phoenix began the tourney with a 3-1 comeback win over Troy on Thursday afternoon before upsetting previously-unbeaten Auburn 3-2 in their home opener on Thursday night. Green Bay wrapped up the championship with a clean 3-0 sweep of Mercer on Friday.
Senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Auburn Active Ankle Challenge after leading the Phoenix with 44 kills and adding 34 digs and nine blocks in the three matches. Her tournament was highlighted by a career-high 20-kill effort in Green Bay’s victory over Troy. In addition, Van Zeeland was tabbed as the Horizon League’s Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 9 for the first time in her career.
CLIMBING THE RANKS Several Phoenix players rank among the Horizon League leaders in a number of statistical categories. Sophomore Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.) leads the conference in digs per set with 5.19 – a figure that also ranks 26th nationally, senior Katie Mroczenski (New Berlin, Wis.) ranks second among all league players with 1.28 blocks per set (41 total), and sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) is third in assists per set with 10.06. Freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Penn.) and Van Zeeland rank fourth and seventh, respectively, in kills per set with averages of 3.28 and 3.19.
HEAR IT FROM THE COACH GreenBayPhoenix.com caught up with Coach Franklin to get her thoughts on Tuesday’s home opener against her former squad. To watch the full interview, click here.
TICKET INFORMATION For tickets to Green Bay’s home opener, visit GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets or order by phone at 920-465-2625. Tickets can also be purchased at the Kress Center box office prior to the match. Adult tickets are only $7 and youth tickets are just $1.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE Green Bay returns to tournament action Sept. 20-21 at the Butler Classic in Indianapolis. The Phoenix will play the host Bulldogs on Friday (10 a.m.) before taking on Toledo (10 a.m.) and UT-Martin (1 p.m.) on Saturday.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics and Green Bay Volleyball, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.