By: Ryan Hartwig (@GBHartwig)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Four Green Bay volleyball players received Horizon League postseason honors on Monday, as sophomore Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.), sophomore Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) and senior Leah Van Zeeland (Kaukauna, Wis.) were named to the 14-member all-league team, and freshman Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.) was selected as the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
It marks just the second time in school history and first time since 2003 that the Phoenix has landed three players on an all-league team. In addition, Hurley becomes the school’s first-ever freshman/newcomer of the year winner. It also marks the first time Green Bay has had four total postseason honorees in a single season.
“We are excited for Shannon, Emily, Jillian and Leah,” Phoenix head coach Michaela Franklin said. “All four have had wonderful seasons and are very deserving of these honors.”
Bauer ended the regular season as the Horizon League’s leader in total digs (539) and digs per set (5.08). Her 539 digs are the fifth-most in a single season in Phoenix history. She has posted double-digit digs in all but one match this season, and has reached 20 or more 15 times. She recently posted a career-high 36 digs in a win at Cleveland State on Nov. 15 – the fifth-highest total in school history and most by any league player this season. Her 5.08 digs-per-set average currently ranks 29th nationally, and she was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 4.
“Jillian is a very talented volleyball player and has learned how to take over and be the boss of our back row this year,” Franklin said. “She has high expectations for herself and we look forward to continuing to help her reach those expectations.”
Riese is tops in the Horizon League in assists with 1,131 and is a close second in assists per set at 10.77. She has already cracked Green Bay’s top-10 list for assists in a single season, currently owning the eighth-highest total. Riese has accumulated double-digit assists in every match this season, and has recorded 50 or more in eight matches. She is also Green Bay’s leader in double-doubles with 12 (assists-digs).
“Emily has done a fabulous job running our complex offense,” Franklin said. “She has the volleyball IQ to do some non-traditional things and the competitiveness to embrace the challenging and risky set. We look forward to having her for a couple more years.”
Van Zeeland is tied for second in the Horizon League in total kills (329) in 2013 and ranks third in kills per set (3.13). She has posted double-figure kill totals in 17 matches this season, including four with at least 20 kills. Van Zeeland registered a career-high 22 kills on Nov. 15 at Cleveland State, and had 21 kills on two occasions. She was named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 9 following an MVP performance at the Auburn Active Ankle Challenge. The senior also has 171 digs and 78 blocks on the year, and is second on the Phoenix in double-doubles (kills-digs) with nine.
“Leah has had a tremendous senior year and has been a wonderful person to work with both on and off the court,” Franklin said. “At moments she has carried our team offensively and has done the same from a leadership standpoint. She worked very hard this offseason and her hard work has shown through her play this fall.”
Hurley is first in the Horizon League in kills (331) and kills per set (3.34) entering the 2013 conference tournament. She has posted double-digit kill totals in each of her last 11 matches, and has reached double-figures 19 times on the year. One of her most impressive outings was a career-high 23-kill effort in a five-set win at Auburn on Sept. 5. Hurley also has five double-doubles on the year (kills-digs), four of which have occurred over the final month of the regular season.
“Shannon is a fierce competitor and her competitive spirit has driven her to a lot of success this season,” Franklin said. “She is on the court to win, which is evident in the way she attacks the ball. She swings to score and wants to score to win. She has a cannon for an arm and we look forward to continuing to help her develop as a volleyball player.”
Green Bay (14-13, 9-5 HL) wrapped up the regular season in a tie for third place in the conference standings and will be the No. 4 seed in this weekend’s 2013 Horizon League Championship. The Phoenix, winners of six of the last eight matches, will face No. 5 Youngstown State on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT in Milwaukee.
2013 Horizon League Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Rachel Neuberger, Milwaukee
Defensive Player of the Year: Jenna Cavanaugh, Youngstown State
Freshman of the Year: Shannon Hurley, Green Bay
Coach of the Year: Susie Johnson, Milwaukee
Rachel Neuberger, Milwaukee (Sr., MB)
Ellen Vanden Berg, Valparaiso (Sr., MH)
Kayla Price, Milwaukee (So., S)
Morgan Beil, Valparaiso (Jr., RS)
Cassie Pelloni, Oakland (So., OH)
Jenna Cavanaugh, Youngstown State (Sr., MB)
Julie Kolinske, Milwaukee (Jr., OH)
Emily Riese, Green Bay (So., S)
Jillian Bauer, Green Bay (So., L)
Maggie Hannon, Cleveland State (Jr., MH)
Sarah Dooms, Valparaiso (Sr., OH)
Alexis Egler, Youngstown State (Jr., OH)
Sara Sternard, UIC (Jr., MB)
Leah Van Zeeland, Green Bay (Sr., RS)
Shannon Hurley, Green Bay (Fr., OH)
Jessica Dood, Oakland (Fr., RS)
Morganne Longoria, Valparaiso (Fr., L)
Myanna Ruiz, Milwaukee (Fr., OH)
Emily Campbell, Valparaiso (Fr., OH)
Grace Kauth, Cleveland State (Fr., OH)
Melissa Deatsch, Oakland (Fr., OH)
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