Panthers suffer first LEC defeat to rival Owls
KEENE, N.H. – The Keene State College women’s volleyball team won a wild five-game 3-2 Little East Conference match against rival Plymouth State University Tuesday night at Spaulding Gym.
With the win, Keene State improves to 11-8 and remains undefeated (3-0) in LEC play. Plymouth State (11-8, 2-1 LEC) suffered its first conference loss and saw its three-match winning streak come to an end.
Falling behind 12-17, the Owls rallied to win the first game 25-23. Junior Bridget O’Bryant (Merrimack, N.H.) scored the final two points for KSC on cross-court kills.
The Panthers took a 17-7 lead on the way to taking the second game 25-14. Keene State went up 14-6 and held on for a 25-21 win in the third game. Plymouth State won a back-and-forth fourth game 25-22.
Plymouth St ate overcame a 12-8 deficit in the decisive fifth set, battling back to take a 14-13 advantage. The Owls scored the final three points of the match, two on a pair of service aces by senior Jamie Levine (Medfield, Mass.), taking the fifth set, 16-14.
Kristen Girard (Red Hook, N.Y.) was Keene State’s go-to player when they needed a big point. The outside hitter finished with 16 kills to go with a couple of service aces and 12 digs. Whalen had 43 assists and Levine finished with 13 digs for Keene State.
Sophomore outside hitter Casey Stoodley (Salem, N.H.) was a force all match for the Panthers, finishing with a match-high 20 kills to go with eight service aces and 15 digs. Senior setter Sarah Cady (Holliston, Mass.) had 41 assists and junior Danielle Stoodley (Salem, N.H.) chipped in with 18 digs.
Both teams fought through injures in the nail-biting match. In the fourth game, PSU lost freshman middle hitter Kaitlyn Tedeschi (Pascoag, R.I.) while Owl junior setter Laurie Whalen (Niantic, Conn.) suffered a hand injury, but was able to return to the court.
KSC players wore pink uniforms for the match. They were holding a Dig Pink fundraising event with all proceeds benefiting the Side-Out Foundation, which awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing compassionate support to breast cancer patients and their families.
Keene State is at Emmanuel College on Thursday. Plymouth State returns to action on Friday and Saturday when it plays in the Springfield College Tom Hay Invitational.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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