PLYMOUTH, N.H. - In a women's volleyball match between two of the top Division III teams in New England, Middlebury College proved too strong for Plymouth State University Wednesday evening, defeating the host Panthers in a four-set match at Foley Gymnasium.
Middlebury narrowly took the first two sets, 25-23 and 26-24. PSU came back to win the third set, 26-24, but the visitors put the match away with a 25-21 decision in the fourth set. Middlebury, which is ranked ninth in New England, improves to 15-4, while PSU, which is ranked 11th in New England, drops to 24-3. Plymouth State also had its perfect record in home matches halted, dropping its first match in nine outings.
Sophomore Jane Handel (Evanston, Ill.) and freshman Julia Gibbs (Houston, Texas) led Middlebury with 16 and 13 kills, respectively, and each one also recorded three service aces. Sophomore Elissa Goeke (Chevy Chase, Md.) led the defense with five blocks, including three solo blocks, and classmate Caroline Cordle (Atlanta, Ga.) topped the team with 16 digs. Junior setter Lauren Barrett (Medfield, Mass.) finished with 41 assists.
Senior middle hitter Eliza Badeau (Foster, R.I.) returned from an injury to lead Plymouth State with 19 kills and four blocks. Sophomore Meghan Sullivan (Marlton, N.J.) recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs, and senior setter Brianna Kleckner (Terryville, Conn.) finished with 45 assists.
Plymouth State heads to Boston this Saturday for a key Little East Conference round-robin at UMass Boston, facing UMass Dartmouth at 2:00 p.m. and UMB at 4:00 p.m.. PSU and UMB are the only unbeaten teams in LEC play and the winner will likely capture the regular season title and serve as the top seed in the LEC Tournament the first week of November.
Middlebury plays in the Hall of Fame Classic this Friday and Saturday at Mount Holyoke College.
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