Panthers advance to conference semifinals on Friday
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Allie Jones (Canton, Mass.) recorded a team-high nine kills and four service aces Tuesday evening as third-seeded Plymouth State University defeated sixth-seeded Rhode Island College in straight sets in the first round of the Little East Conference Women’s Volleyball Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers coasted to victories in the first two sets, 25-11 and 25-9. The Anchorwomen came to life in the third set and made a game of it before PSU pulled out a 25-20 decision to clinch the match. Plymouth State improves to 18-12 overall and advances to the LEC semifinals on Friday at top-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston (25-4). PSU will face second-seeded Keene State College (23-11) in Friday’s second semifinal at 6:00 p.m. RIC ends its season at 13-18.
Sophomore Casey Stoodley (Salem, N.H.) contributed eight kills and 12 digs for the Panthers, and junior Elissa Morin (Nashua, N.H.) added seven kills and a team-high three blocks. Freshman Kaitlyn Tedeschi (Pascoag, R.I.) chipped in with four kills and four aces, and junior setter Sarah Cady (Holliston, Mass.) made 28 assists. Junior Alex Avery (Milton, N.H.) finished with a match-leading 17 digs.
Senior Tess Heidel (Warwick, R.I.) led the Anchorwomen with five kills, 10 digs and two blocks. RIC’s leading hitter, sophomore Breanna Boyer (West Greenwich, R.I.) was held to just three kills.
PSU jumped out to double-digit leads early in each of the first two sets, leading 15-5 in the first set and 13-3 in the second. RIC regrouped and gave the Panthers an early challenge in the third set, forcing an 8-8 tie. PSU started to pull away, but the Anchorwomen stayed close, trailing 16-12 and 21-16 before the home team pulled out the five-point win.
The Panthers dropped a close, five-set match to their semifinal opponents earlier this year, as Keene State pulled out a 16-14 decision in the decisive set in Keene on Oct. 5.
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