PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The fourth varsity season of women's volleyball at Plymouth State College begin this weekend when the Panthers play three Little East Conference matches at Keene State College.
The Panthers will meet perennial LEC power Western Connecticut on Friday (Sept. 10) at 7 p.m., followed by consecutive matches Saturday (Sept. 11) against Keene State (10 a.m.) and Southern Maine (1 p.m.). They are the first of seven regular season conference match-ups, which will determine the seeds for the annual LEC Tournament.
After a non-conference match Monday (Sept. 13) at Endicott College, PSC will play its home opener at Foley Gymnasium next Wednesday (Sept. 15) against in-state rival Colby-Sawyer College (7:00 p.m.). The Panthers will also host the next Little East round-robin format at Foley Gym on Tuesday, Oct. 5th. 1999 P.S.C. Women's Volleyball Outlook
The first group of four-year players for the Panther volleyball program are seniors in 1999, and along with second-year head coach Moira Long are hoping for another solid campaign as PSC continues the building process.
Only a varsity team since 1996, PSC has started building its foundation with a winning tradition. The Panthers have a three-year mark of 69-24, including a 22-11 overall record last season. Long hopes this year's unit will continue the growing process.
"We'll be counting on the experience and leadership of the seniors, who've been here since the beginning," said Long.
The Panthers are shooting for another solid finish in the Little East Conference. PSC advanced to the LEC Tournament championship game in 1996, but was eliminated in the semi-finals the past two seasons.
"We want to be in that top two," said Long. "That's the next step as we progress towards a conference championship."
PSC has a pair of strong outside hitters in seniors Jill Langis (Farmington, NH) and Veronica Mulholland (Billerica, MA). Langis earned regular playing time for the first time last season and took advantage, leading the team in kills, attempts, attack percentage and aces. Mulholland, a two-year co-captain, has been a regular since her freshman year, and owns the school record for digs.
Two other seniors and four-year veterans should see regular playing time. Sarah Goggin (Harwinton, CT) is a two-year co-captain and a solid back-row player, and Andrea Baretta (Kensington, CT) has improved to the point where she has become the starting setter.
Long also expects regular playing time for sophomore Dawn Mellon (Center Barnstead, NH) and junior Stephanie Spiridakis (Belmont, NH). Mellon saw limited action last season, but should see increased playing time this fall as a middle blocker. Spiridakis has been PSC's setter most of the last two years, but is also a valuable backcourt defensive specialist. PSC has been a strong serving team, with Langis, Spiridakis, Goggin, and Baretta all racking up more than 40 aces last season.
Long expects freshman outside hitter Carin LaValley (Northfield, NH) to make the biggest impact among the newcomers.
"We don't have a lot of size, so we will have to serve well and play tough defense," said Long. "I think we'll be a pretty good defensive team."
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