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Panthers bounced from ECAC's

PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The second-seeded U.S. Coast Guard Academy eliminated seventh-seeded Plymouth State College from the ECAC Division III North Volleyball Tournament Friday evening at Foley Gymnasium, knocking off the Panthers in three games, 30-17, 32-30, 30-21.

The victory advances the Bears (22-7) into the semifinals Saturday at 12 noon against third-seeded Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT moved on with a 3-0 sweep over (30-27, 30-13, 30-23) over Eastern Connecticut. The other semifinal (10 a.m.) features top-seeded Ithaca University against fourth-seeded Geneseo State. Ithaca defeated eighth-seeded Plattsburgh State 3-0 (30-20, 30-24, 30-14) in a first-round match, and Geneseo ousted fifth-seeded Smith University 3-1 (30-28, 30-27, 28-30, 30-24).

The two semifinal winners will meet Saturday at 3 p.m. for the ECAC North Championship.

Coast Guard was led in its victory over Plymouth State by senior Katie Johann (Bayport, N.Y.), who had a match-high 22 kills along with nine digs. Sophomore Tracy Speelhoffer (Landisville, Pa.) added 12 kills and a team-high 13 digs, while seniors Maile Norman (Tempe, Az.) and Staci Krueger (Virginia Beach, Va.) contributed 11 digs apiece. Norman ran the Bears offense, recording 45 set assists.

Plymouth State, which was making its first post-season appearance in the seven-year history of the program, was led by freshman Kelly Landry (Nashua, N.H.), who registered a team-high 11 kills. Junior Amber Greenlaw (Gilford, N.H.) anchored the Panther defense, making 19 digs. Senior Becky Landry (Nashua, N.H.), who was named Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year earlier this week, was shut down by Coast Guard and registered only four kills.

The Panthers conclude their season at 25-11 overall, the most wins in the program’s history.