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Panthers fall to Bridgewater State in NCAA Volleyball Tourney


- Plymouth State University's first visit to the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Tournament ended in the first round Thursday evening when the Panthers were knocked out by Bridgewater State College, three games to one, at Williams College.

            The Panthers, who won their first Little East Conference championship last Saturday, came back from a 30-24 defeat in the first game with a 30-22 win in game two, evening things up at 1-1.  The Bears, who captured their sixth consecutive Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference title last week, put Plymouth State away with 30-17 and 30-22 decisions in games three and four.

            PSU wraps up another outstanding campaign with a 28-12 overall record. Bridgewater State, which won its 11th straight match to improve to 25-10, advances to the second round and will face Williams Friday at 7:00 p.m.

            Junior Becky Ciulla (Chelmsford, Mass.) led the Panther effort with 10 kills, 10 digs and three blocks.  Freshman Kirsten Willoughby (Plymouth, N.H.) also contributed 10 kills, and junior Kim Krause (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) added eight kills and 11 digs.  Freshman Kim Tobyne (Bedford, N.H./West) chipped in with 10 digs.

            Bridgewater State kept PSU junior Kelly Landry (Nashua, N.H.) in check, as the Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Year registered just seven kills and nine digs.  Panther junior setter Amanda Bagwell (Riverside, R.I.) recorded 38 assists and nine digs.

            Plymouth State, which was making its third straight post-season berth under seventh-year head coach Moira Long, won the LEC Tournament title last weekend after sharing the conference regular season championship with Rhode Island College, Western Connecticut and Eastern Connecticut (all with 5-2 marks).  PSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament in just its ninth season as a varsity sport.

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