Jones and Stoodley lead Panthers past rival Owls
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Allie Jones smashed a match-high 20 kills and junior Casey Stoodley added 16 Tuesday evening as Plymouth State University outlasted Keene State College, 3-1, in a Little East Conference women's volleyball match at Foley Gymnasium.
The watch was closer than the set scores indicate, with the winner of all four sets needing more than the standard 25 points to win. PSU took the first two sets, 31-29 and 28-26, before KSC battled back to take the third set, 26-24. The Owls had a couple chances late in the fourth set to force a fifth and deciding set, but the Panthers closed the door, 28-26, and pulled out the match in four sets.
PSU extended its winning streak to eight matches, improving to 12-5 overall and 2-1 in conference matches. The Owls dropped their third in a row and slipped to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in the LEC.
Both Jones and Stoodley posted double-doubles for the winners, Jones adding 10 digs to her 20 kills and Stoodley contributing 26 digs along with her 16 kills. Senior Meghan Sullivan also reached double figures with 12 kills, and senior Danielle Stoodley recorded a match-high 30 digs. Senior setter Sarah Cady notched 54 assists and 26 digs.
The Owls were led by senior Bridget O'Bryant, who recorded a double-double with team-highs of 19 kills and 29 digs. Classmate Ellyse Davis added 15 kills and junior Alex Lehocky contributed 12 kills. Senior setter Laurie Whalen -finished with 54 assists, and senior Kristen Girard contributed 25 digs.
The first set was close, with neither team leading by more than three points. KSC served for the set four times but couldn't put the Panthers away. PSU was down 29-28 but took the next three points to pull out the first set, 31-29.
Keene State took leads of 11-4 and 13-5 in the second set, but PSU came from behind to tie the set at 19-all. Again the Owls had two chances, serving for the set, but a determined Panther squad rattled off three points in a row to pull out the set, 28-26.
The third set was KSC's turn to come from behind. PSU held leads of 14-7 and 16-9 before the Owls rallied. It was a 21-17 Panther lead when the Owls ran off six of the next seven points to pull ahead, 23-22, and then pulled out the set, 26-24.
The fourth set was a see-saw battle that went down to the wire, just like the first three sets. Keene State served for the set at 24-23, and PSU served for the set at 25-24 and 26-25 before finishing off the Owls, 28-26.
Plymouth State heads to the Tom Hay Invitational this weekend at Springfield College. Keene State returns home to host Emmanuel College on Thursday.
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