By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – With one half of its Horizon League schedule in the books, the Green Bay volleyball team (9-11, 4-3 HL) opens the second round of conference matches on the road this weekend. The Phoenix first travels to Rochester, Mich., on Friday for a 6 p.m. contest against Oakland (9-13, 3-4 HL) before heading to Dayton, Ohio, for a 4 p.m. meeting with Wright State (6-19, 0-7 HL).
Green Bay defeated both the Golden Grizzlies (3-2) and the Raiders (3-0) at the Kress Center during the opening weekend of league play (Sept. 27-28).
Fans unable to make the road trip this weekend can follow the action with free live video on the Horizon League Network, as well as live stats. Links can be found on the volleyball schedule page on GreenBayPhoenix.com. The official Green Bay volleyball Twitter (@GBPhoenixVB) and Facebook (Green Bay Phoenix Volleyball) accounts will also be posting live updates throughout the matches.
Friday, Oct. 25
6 p.m. – Green Bay at Oakland [Live Stats | Live Video]
Saturday, Oct. 26
4 p.m. – Green Bay at Wright State [Live Stats | Live Video]
Green Bay is tied for third place in the Horizon League standings at the midway point, owning a 4-3 record against conference opponents. All three losses have come to the top three teams in the standings – Milwaukee, Valparaiso and Youngstown State.
The Phoenix wrapped up the first half with a 3-1 victory over Cleveland State last Saturday after falling 3-1 to Youngstown State on Friday night, getting a career-high-tying 21 kills from senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.). Freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) and sophomore Mikaela Gunderson (Casco, Wis.) also joined Van Zeeland in double-figures in the match, tallying 18 and 16 kills. Sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) recorded her third straight double-double in the win, putting up 56 assists and adding 10 digs on defense.
Hurley (3.37) and Van Zeeland (3.21) rank first and second in the Horizon League in kills per set at the halfway point, while senior Monica Anderson (Cottage Grove, Wis.) rounds out the top-10 at 2.88. Riese leads all league players in both total assists (817) and assists per set (10.75), and another sophomore transfer Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.) is first in digs (371) and digs per set (4.82). Bauer (43rd in digs per set) and Riese (45th in assists per set) are both in the top-50 in the NCAA Division I rankings in their respective stat categories.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GRIZZLIES
Oakland sits just behind the Phoenix in the conference standings at 3-4, with the difference being Green Bay’s thrilling, comeback victory at the Kress Center on Sept. 28. The Golden Grizzlies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match, but the Phoenix stormed back to take each of the final three sets for the 3-2 win. Anderson and Hurley led the way on offense with 21 kills apiece, while five different Phoenix players recorded at least 10 digs in a strong defensive effort.
Oakland leads the league in service aces (118), averaging 1.44 per set. Freshman Melissa Deatsch is tops in the conference in the category, averaging 0.46 aces per set.
SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Wright State is 0-7 in conference play and has dropped each of its last 11 matches. The Phoenix swept the Raiders at the Kress Center on Sept. 27, with Van Zeeland leading the way with 13 kills and eight digs.
Senior Heidi Splinter has paced the WSU offense in 2013, ranking fifth among all league players in kills per set (3.07).
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE
Green Bay returns home next weekend, welcoming UIC and Valparaiso to the Kress Center. The Phoenix hosts the Flames on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., and the Crusaders the following afternoon at 5 p.m. Saturday is also Alumni Day, as the Phoenix will welcome back its past players and pay a special tribute to the 2003 NCAA Tournament team.
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