By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
ROCHESTER, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) registered the second double-double of her career with 17 kills and 13 digs, but it wasn’t enough as Oakland (10-13, 4-4 HL) held on to beat Green Bay (9-12, 4-4 HL) 3-1 in Horizon League volleyball action Friday night at the O’rena.
The Golden Grizzlies used aggressive serving in the 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20 win, totaling 11 service aces, including seven by freshman Melissa Deatsch.
“That was really the difference in the match,” Green Bay head coach Michaela Franklin said. “They served the ball really well and took us out of system. We were passing well in the beginning, but once they got on the end line and started hitting the ball hard, that’s what helped them get control and ultimately win the match.”
Just like in the first meeting (Green Bay 3-2) between the two teams at the Kress Center on Sept. 28, Oakland jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. The Phoenix tried to replicate the comeback effort by taking the exciting third set 25-23, but the Golden Grizzlies bounced back to win the fourth 25-20 and avenge the loss.
Deatsch – the conference’s leader in service aces (45) – had all seven of her aces in the first two sets, while Amanda Baker had eight of her team-high 13 kills in sets one and two. Oakland was eyeing the sweep in the third, leading 20-16, but a 9-3 Phoenix run ended it at 25-23 and sent the match to a fourth game. Hurley was outstanding in the third, tallying nine kills and four digs.
Green Bay had the score tied at 18-18 late in the fourth, but the Golden Grizzlies finished with a 7-2 run to secure the win and force a tie for fourth place in the league standings.
Senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) also reached double-figures in kills for the Phoenix with 11. Sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) led all players with 37 assists to go along with nine digs, while sophomore Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.) registered a match-high 26 digs.
Green Bay is back in action tomorrow at 4 p.m., taking on Wright State (6-20, 0-8 HL) in Dayton, Ohio.
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