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PSU Field Hockey and Volleyball players earn top weekly honors

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Three Plymouth State University student-athletes were recognized by the Little East Conference Monday with Player of the Week honors in the sports of field hockey and women's volleyball.

            Sophomore Sarah Smith (Lexington, Mass.) was named LEC Field Hockey Offensive Player of the Week, and sophomore Eliza Badeau (Foster, R.I./ Ponaganset) and junior Sarah Spears (Meredith, N.H./Inter-Lakes) were selected LEC Women's Volleyball Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.  Smith becomes the first Panther field hockey player to be honored by the LEC this season, while Badeau and Spears are each recognized for the second time this fall.

            A sophomore forward, Smith (right) scored five goals and one assist to lead PSU to a 2-0 week, including both game-winning goals.  She registered a hat trick Wednesday in a 4-3 win over New England College, including the game-tying and game-winning goals in the final four minutes of the game, and she scored the first two goals and assisted on the third in PSU's 7-1 conference win on Saturday over Fitchburg State.

            PSU's field hockey team has won six of its last seven to improve to 7-5 overall and 6-2 in conference play.  The Panthers have a key LEC home contest coming up on Wednesday at Arold Field against conference co-leader Southern Maine (3:30 p.m.)

            A 6'0" middle hitter, Badeau (left) was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Smith College Invitational after helping PSU to a runner-up finish in the tournament and a 3-1 record for the week.  She averaged 4.41 kills per game with a .354 attack percentage for the week, along with contributing eight service aces (0.47 per game). She had more than 20 kills in two of the four matches last week, recording 21 against Mount Holyoke and a season-high 23 against Smith.  She also finished with 17 kills and a season-best six services aces in the win over Rivier College.

            A defensive specialist, Spears (right) averaged 5.35 digs per game last week, helping PSU to the 3-1 record for the week and a runner-up finish in the Smith College Invitational.  She recorded at least 23 digs in three of the four matches, including 23 against Mount Holyoke, 27 in the win over Rivier and 26 against Smith.

            The Panther volleyball squad, 15-7 overall and 2-2 in conference matches, plays its final regular season home matches this week - Wednesday against Middlebury (6:00 p.m.) and Saturday vs. UMass Boston (12:00 p.m.) and UMass Dartmouth (4:00 p.m.)

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