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Phoenix puts out Flames

volleyball

Photo by Cheyenne Makinia/Fourth Estate

Green Bay sophomores Mikaela Gunderson and Emily Riese try to block a spike Nov. 1 in the Phoenix’s win over UIC at the Kress Events Center.

Jacob westendorf , Sports Writer
November 7, 2013
Filed under Sports, Top Stories

The Green Bay volleyball team came into their game Nov. 1 trying to build some momentum they had gained in their most recent conference games. Winning two of its last three matches, the Phoenix was able to continue its winning ways with a sweep over the Flames of UIC, winning the match three sets to none.

“This is a big win for us, said sophomore libero Jillian Bauer. “It’s nice to get a sweep and go into another big game tomorrow against Valparaiso, and try to get another win before the weekend ends.”

The first set began with a flurry of points from the Phoenix, as they scored five of the first six points behind kills from Leah Van Zeeland and Mikaela Gunderson. Van Zeeland entered the game with 272 kills on the season and added nine to her total.

After the early dominance in the set, it was another back-and-forth affair with neither team being able to sustain a run until the middle of the set when UIC ran off three consecutive points, giving them a 12-11 advantage.

After a timeout from head coach Michaela Franklin, kills from Shannon Hurley and Gunderson allowed the Phoenix to regain the lead in the set 16-14. The two teams traded points back and forth until the set was knotted at 20.

A pair of kills from Van Zeeland, and a couple of unforced errors by UIC gave the Phoenix a win in the first set by a final score of 25-20

“It was a big point in the game,” said Franklin. “Sometimes we just need to take a breath and relax. Thankfully Leah made a few plays for us following that timeout, and we were able to get a win, and off to a fast start.”

The second set began with the teams splitting the first eight points until UIC was able to go on a run of three straight points, giving them an early 7-4 advantage.

UWGB countered with a run of their own, highlighted by several blocks, which helped them earn the next eight points and put them ahead 12-7.

The Phoenix finished with 21 blocks on the night, which was pleasing to coach Franklin.

“During games this year, (blocking) has been something that has gone against us a lot,” Franklin said. “It was nice to finally see our efforts against the net work in our favor.”

Following the big run by the Phoenix, UIC was never able to sustain a run of more than two points, allowing the Phoenix to run away with the second set by the score of 25-15.

“It was big to go into the break up 2-0,” said Van Zeeland. “It allows you to take a little bit of a breather and realize that you only have to win one more game to put them away.”

The third set began with the Phoenix looking to put the game away. It got off to a good start as they scored the first three points behind kills from Van Zeeland and Katie Mroczenski and held an early 7-2 advantage.

The Flames fought back, but just as they had done all night, the Phoenix responded to every punch the Flames threw.

“We could definitely see that they were rattled,” said Bauer. “We like to focus on our side of the net, and we took care of the ball and that clearly frustrated them because they could never sustain a run.”

The match ended with authority as Mroczenski spiked the ball to finish up the third set with a final score of 25-18, giving the Phoenix its third win in four games.

Green Bay continued its winning ways Nov. 2 against Valparaiso, winning three sets to two.

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