Panthers suffer tough non-conference road setback
BIDDEFORD, Maine – Saint Joseph's College defeated Plymouth State University, 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-22), in a non-conference women's volleyball match Tuesday evening at the Harold Alfond Center. Junior outside hitter Victoria Huntley (Ellsworth, Maine) tallied a match-high nine kills with seven digs in the sweep.
The Monks (6-0) opened the night by producing five unanswered points, with junior setter Mariah Hebert (Biddeford, Maine) making it a 5-0 set with a service ace. The Panthers responded with four straight points, a run capped with a Dani Tabor (Olympia, Wash.) kill.
St. Joe's rattled off five straight again, but the visitors answered with an 11-6 run, tying the opening set at 16-16. Minutes later, Plymouth State received a service ace from Tabor to take a 19-18 lead, their first advantage of the evening, and a see-saw battle ensued with the Panthers earning a 23-22 edge after sophomore Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) notched a kill. But the Monks reclaimed service and proceeded to claim a 1-0 match lead after the Panthers fell victim to a pair of attack errors.
The New England rivals played close for the better part of the second set as well. Plymouth led 13-12 after junior Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) blocked a Felicia Wachowiak (Milton, N.H.) attack, but the advantage did not last as St. Joe's put up six straight points with the help of two aces from senior Sam Wright (Westport, Mass.) and a pair of Alli Hollander (Thermal, Calif.) kills. Saint Joseph's led by no fewer than four points for the remainder of the set and earned a 2-0 lead with the help of a late 5-2 run.
The third set was quite competitive, as neither team led by more than four points and the clubs stood at a 17-17 deadlock late in what turned out to be the final segment of the evening. With the tie score, Saint Joseph's produced a 7-3 surge to claim a 24-20 cushion before Plymouth State tacked on a pair of points, but the Monks did not waver as Wachowiak rejected a Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) attack to clinch the three-set win.
Tabor registered seven kills for the Panthers and junior Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) posted five kills, Sporer produced four kills and six digs, and sophomore Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) added 16 assists and four digs. Sophomore Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Az.) recorded a match-high 19 digs in the loss.
Saint Joseph's returns to play Thursday with a 7:00 PM match at University of Southern Maine while Plymouth State will host a tri-match versus Western Connecticut and Salve Regina on Saturday.
(Courtesy of Saint Joseph's Sports Information)
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