DANBURY, Conn. - Those darn Connecticut schools.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Plymouth State College women's volleyball team was eliminated from the Little East Conference Tournament by one of the two LEC schools from the Nutmeg State in southwest New England. This year it was Eastern Connecticut handing PSC a 15-12, 15-9, 15-2 defeat Saturday in the semi-finals of the tournament, hosted by Western Conn.
PSC has won its opening round match the past four seasons, including a 15-4, 15-7, 15-5 triumph over Southern Maine last Friday. The Panthers advanced to the finals in 1996 by upsetting Western Conn. in the semis, only to lose to ECSU in the championship, and the last two seasons PSC was ousted from the tournament in the semifinals at the hands of WCSU.
With the outcome, PSC is now 23-11 overall under second-year coach Moira Long and awaits word on a possible ECAC post-season berth. The Panthers have finished 25-3, 22-10 and 22-11 the last three seasons and not made the playoffs.
One PSC player was selected to the LEC All-Tournament Team - junior defensive specialist Stephanie Spiridakis (Belmont, NH).
Plymouth State got another strong performance from freshman outside hitter Carin LaValley (Northfield, NH) in the opening round win over Southern Maine, registering a team-high 13 kills. Senior Veronica Mulholland (Billerica, Mass.) posted 22 digs, and freshman setter Jessie O'Hearn (Tilton, NH) ran the offense and recorded 28 assists.
It was a different story against ECSU, as the Panthers turned in their lowest attack percentage of the season with 19 kills and 22 errors. Mulholland had five kills and 14 digs to lead the team, but struggled through eight attack errors.
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