By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
CHICAGO (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay volleyball team bounced back from Friday’s tough, five-set loss at Valparaiso with a convincing 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-16) sweep of UIC on Saturday afternoon at the Flames Athletic Center. The Phoenix improved to 3-1 in Horizon League play and 8-8 overall with the win, while the Flames dropped to 5-13 and 0-3 in conference action.
“We're just excited to end the weekend with a good win after a challenging weekend overall,” Green Bay head coach Michaela Franklin said. “We set some team goals that we were able to accomplish today, and I was proud of how we played and how we bounced back after having a long, tough night last night.”
Green Bay hit over .400 in sets two and three and finished with an impressive .315 hitting percentage while holding UIC to just .087 for the match. Sophomore Mikaela Gunderson (Casco, Wis.) paced the Phoenix with a team-high 10 kills, hitting .444, and also added a match-high seven blocks. Green Bay finished with 10 total team blocks in the three-setter.
Senior Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) also had 10 kills for Green Bay on Saturday, marking her fifth consecutive match in double-figures. Sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) had a strong all-around contest, leading all players with 37 assists while also contributing eight digs, four blocks and three service aces.
Green Bay came out strong out of the gate, opening up a 10-5 lead early in set one and pushing it to 22-12 late in the 25-18 win. Freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) got the Phoenix off to a good start with seven of her nine kills in the opening set.
The visiting Phoenix started fast again in the second, opening with an 11-4 run and forcing a Flames timeout. UIC got within two late at 20-18, but Green Bay ended on a 5-1 run, highlighted by a trio of Gunderson kills, to close out the 25-19 win.
After a tight start in the third, Green Bay used a 4-0 stretch to open up a 21-14 advantage before eventually pulling away for the 25-16 victory and the 3-0 sweep. Anderson had five kills in the set, including each of the match’s final two points.
Green Bay continues its four-match road stretch next Friday at Milwaukee at 7 p.m.
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