By Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) powered her team out of the gates on Saturday afternoon and helped Green Bay (9-11, 4-3 HL) close out visiting Cleveland State (12-8, 2-5 HL) as the Phoenix posted a 3-1 (27-25, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22) victory in Horizon League volleyball action at the Kress Events Center. The senior tied her career high with 21 kills as Green Bay moved back above .500 in league play.
Van Zeeland had eight kills on nine swings in set one as Green Bay hit .486 and won a thrilling set, 27-25. The Phoenix staved off a set point for Cleveland State and scored the final three points of the set.
Freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) recorded five of her 18 kills in the second set, and Green Bay pulled away from the Vikings for a 25-21 win and a 2-0 edge.
Sophomore Mikaela Gunderson (Casco, Wis.) totaled eight kills in the third set as the Phoenix jumped out to a 21-14 lead, but the Vikings stormed back to take their first lead of the set at 25-24 and claim the win 26-24. Gunderson finished the match with 16 kills and a .483 hitting percentage on 29 swings.
Van Zeeland helped ensure that the Phoenix would not allow the Vikings to force a fifth set, tallying seven kills in the fourth to help the hosts close out the match. The set was tied at 21 before Green Bay won four of the final five points to claim the conference win.
Sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) recorded her third straight double-double in the win, directing the offense to a .290 hitting percentage with 56 assists and adding 10 digs on defense.
Sophomore libero Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.) led the defense with 21 digs while sophomore Becca Mastey (Green Bay, Wis.) was also in double figures with 11 digs.
Halfway through its Horizon League schedule, Green Bay begins the second half on the road next weekend, playing at Oakland on Friday at 6 p.m. and at Wright State on Saturday at 4 p.m. Fans can watch both games live and for free on the Horizon League Network.
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