Tabor, Sporer lead Panthers in LEC setback
BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts Boston had four players finish in double-figures in kills Tuesday evening as the Beacons earned a 3-1 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
UMB improves to 2-1 in the Little East, 5-10 overall, while PSU drops to 1-2 in conference play, 13-5 overall.
Freshman Eileen Shi (San Francisco, Calif.) led the way for the Beacons as she threw down 17 kills and posted a .433 hitting percentage. She also finished with 11 digs, to record her sixth double-double of the season.
Junior Dani Tabor (Olympia, Wash.) and sophomore Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) had strong performances for the Panthers. Tabor led the match with 18 kills, finishing with a match-best .485 hitting percentage, while Sporer recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs. Senior Kirsten Perrotta (Hudson, N.H.) tallied 38 of the team's 41 assists, and sophomore Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Az.) had 22 digs to lead the Panthers defensive effort.
For all four sets, the two teams battled for control of the scoreboard, as they were tied a combined 24 times, while they exchanged control of the lead 13 times.
In the opening frame, the Beacons claimed a 25-21 win, thanks to a kill by Shi that put the set away. UMass then extended its lead to 2-0 with a convincing 25-18 win in the second, which saw Shi and Haley Diedrick (Canton, Mich.) combine for nine kills.
The third set was a back-and-forth battle from the opening serve, and would go the distance. Sporer led the Panthers with her four kills, and with an ace by freshman Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.), Plymouth State cut the Beacons lead in half with a 28-26 win.
The fourth set was another close match between two of the top teams in the Little East. UMass Boston maintained a lead, but in the later part of the frame, the Panthers came clawing back and cut the deficit to three (22-19).
However, with a kill by Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) and an ace by Macayla Chianco (Clearwater, Fla.) the Beacons moved into match point (24-20). Plymouth State did rattle off two more points, but it was not enough, as the Beacons sealed the victory on another kill by Murphy.
PSU is back in action in a tri-match Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Suffolk University along with Salem State University.
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