Third-seeded Panthers eliminated by sixth-seeded Anchorwomen
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sixth-seeded Rhode Island College battled back from down two sets Tuesday evening to upset third-seeded Plymouth State University, 3-2, in a Little East Conference Women's Volleyball Tournament quarterfinal match at Foley Gymnasium.
The Anchorwomen dropped the first two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-18, but rallied with 25-16 and 25-20 decisions to tie the match, and pulled out the victory with a 15-11 verdict in the decisive fifth set. It was a repeat of the regular season match at Foley Gym back in late September, when RIC rallied from a 2-0 deficit to pull out a 3-2 victory.
The Anchorwomen, 18-11 overall, advance to a semifinal match Thursday at second-seeded Keene State College (22-8), which enjoyed a first-round bye on Tuesday. PSU concludes its season at 22-7 overall.
Senior Kelsey Lace (Glendale, R.I.) led the Anchorwomen with a match-high 24 kills along with 16 digs, while classmate Morgan Stewart (Willington, Conn.) and junior Sierra Smith (Longmont, Colo.) added nine kills apiece with hitting percentages of .500. Sophomore setter Abigayl White (Coventry, R.I.) distributed the ball to the tune of 34 assists.
Stewart made a team-best three blocks for the visitors, while junior Megan Armburg (Swansea, Mass.) collected a team-high 24 digs and freshman Jillian Ward (Coventry, R.I.) and senior Michelle Malboeuf (Cumberland, R.I.) chipped in with 18 and 17 digs, respectively.
Junior Dani Tabor (Olympia, Wash.) led the Panthers with 18 kills, and sophomore Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) added 11 winners and a team-high 19 digs. Senior Kirsten Perrotta (Hudson, N.H.) finished with 43 assists, five kills and three blocks in her final collegiate match.
Juniors Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) and Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) combined for seven blocks to pace the home team. Junior Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) contributed 16 digs and junior Hannah Hyatt (Andover, Conn.) and sophomore Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Az.) added 12 digs apiece.
PSU's 22 wins this season is the most since the 2011 Panthers finished 25-11, and was nine wins better than last season's 13-19 record.
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