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Panthers eliminated by Western Conn.

DANBURY, Conn. -- State rivals will collide when Western Connecticut State University meets up with Eastern Connecticut State University for the Little East Conference Volleyball Championship Saturday at 12 noon.

Second-seeded ECSU (21-10) from behind to defeat third-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 3-2, in the first semi-final at the O'Neill Center. In the nightcap, the top-seeded Colonials of WCSU swept fourth-seeded Plymouth State College in three games, 30-23, 30-28, and 30-13.

Eastern Connecticut trailed 2-0 before taking the third game, 30-18. The Warriors trailed 26-21 in the fourth game before pulling out a 34-32 win. In the deciding game, UMass Dartmouth raced to a 13-9 lead before Eastern stormed back to knot the game at 14-14. The Warriors would go on to score the next two points to pull off the thriller.

Eastern Conn improves to 21-10, and UMass Dartmouth falls to 24-8.

After dropping the first game, Plymouth State jumped to a 21-11 lead in game two before Western Conn reeled off nine straight points. The Colonials capped off a 13-2 run and took a 24-23 advantage. The Panthers would knot the game at 28-28 before the hometowners would put it away.

The Colonials, 21-11, were led by setter Jaymie Rosario's 37 assists, five service aces and 18 digs. Cynthia Socoloskie led Western Connecticut's attack with 16 kills, while Debra Senior and Joslyn Wiseman added 10 and eight kills, respectively. Senior was second on the team with 13 digs.

Plymouth State was led by sophomore Sonia Trudell (Somersworth, N.H.), who had six kills and 22 digs on the night. Classmate Becky Landry (Nashua, N.H.) added nine kills while junior Jessie O'Hearn (Tilton, N.H.) tallied 22 set assists.

The Panthers complete the season with a 17-14 record under head coach Moira Long.