PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the Little East Conference volleyball tournament Saturday afternoon, defeating the University of Massachusetts Boston and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in an LEC round robin event at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers needed only three games to defeat both conference opponents, downing UMB in the opening match of the day (30-14, 30-15, 30-26) and sweeping UMD in the final match (30-25, 30-22, 30-28). Boston defeated Dartmouth in the battle of the two UMass schools, 3-1 (23-30, 30-28, 30-28, 30-27). PSU improves to 18-7 overall and 4-2 in LEC matches, while UMB is now 13-13 overall and 0-4 in the LEC and UMD is 6-16 and 0-5.
PSU used a balanced attack to knock off UMB in the first match. Junior Regan Bowlen (Portsmouth, N.H.) led the Panthers with 10 kills, while classmate Wendy Dziedzic (Nashua, N.H.) added nine kills and sophomore Eliza Badeau (East Providence, R.I.) finished with eight. Bowlen and junior libero Sarah Spears (Meredith, N.H.) each had a team-high 11 digs, and sophomore setter Brianna Kleckner (Terryville, Conn.) spurred the offense with 31 assists.
Sophomore Kate White (Plymouth, Mass.) led the Beacons with nine kills and freshman Emily Thompson (Wausau, Wis.) contributed 15 digs.
Badeau led all hitters in the PSU-UMD match, recording 17 kills. Spears paced the defense with 17 digs, while senior Kim Tobyne (Manchester, N.H./West) added 13 digs.
Senior Nazareth Cardoso (Brockton, Mass.) and junior Hillary Teichert (Pocasset, Mass.) shared the UMD lead with nine kills each. Junior Aly Zagame (Greenfield, Mass.) recorded a match-high 20 digs.
PSU wraps up the regular season next week with a match Tuesday at Salem State (7:00 p.m.) and Friday and Saturday at the Brandeis Tournament. The LEC Tournament begins on Tuesday, Oct. 30.
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