Panthers upend both Keene State and Daniel Webster in four sets
NASHUA, N.H. – Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) pounded 27 kills and added six aces to lead the Plymouth State University women's volleyball team to a pair of victories during day one of the Granite State Challenge. PSU knocked off Keene State College in the opener (3-1), then held off host Daniel Webster College in the nightcap (3-1). After opening the season with three straight losses, the Panthers have now won three in a row. Plymouth State travels to Colby-Sawyer College tomorrow for day two of the tournament, with matches against Rivier University and the host Chargers.
Granite State Challenge, Nashua, N.H. – Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
Plymouth State 3, Keene State 1 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 25-11
Plymouth State 3, Daniel Webster 1 25-13, 23-25, 25-13, 25-22
Plymouth State 3-3; Keene State 2-5; Daniel Webster 3-1.
PSU LEADERS vs. Keene State
* Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) … match-high 17 kills, .389 attack pct. (17-3-36), eight digs, two aces
* Senior Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) … eight kills, .368 attack pct. (8-1-19)
* Sophomore Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) … nine kills, eight digs, two aces
* Senior Dani Tabor (Seattle, Wash.) … seven kills
* Senior Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) … five kills, .455 attack pct. (5-0-11)
* Junior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) … 39 assists, 11 digs
* Junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) … team-high 19 digs
* Senior Hannah Hyatt (Andover, Conn.) … six digs
GAME NOTES vs. Keene State
PSU took control of the opening set early and never looked back. Sporer and Tabor notched four kills each, and Wojtas added three as the Panthers rolled to a 25-15 win. The PSU offense was clicking on all cylinders, as the team hit a sharp .273 (13-4-33), while the defense limited the Owls to an .091 (9-6-33) clip.
The Owls jumped out to a 9-4 lead early in the second set and maintained a slim margin until PSU pulled ahead 19-16. A kill by Sporer put the Panthers up 24-20, and PSU held off a Keene State rally to win 25-23.
The Panther offense clicked again in the third set, with Sporer downing five kills and the team posting a .256 attack percentage. PSU held a slim 22-20 edge looking to close out the match, but the Owls battled back with a 5-1 run to take the set 25-23.
The fourth set was all PSU. The Panthers jumped out to a 5-0 lead, then extended it to 14-2 behind the serving of senior Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.). The teams played even from that point, allowing Plymouth State to lock up a 25-11 victory.
PSU LEADERS vs. Daniel Webster
* C. Sporer … 10 kills, four aces
* Flanagan … nine kills, 12 digs
* Senior Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) … seven kills, .462 attack pct. (7-1-13)
* Wojtas … six kills, .333 attack pct. (6-1-15), three blocks
* Taffe … five kills, four blocks
* Bailey … 33 assists, 13 digs
* Peruch … 11 digs
* Hyatt … 8 digs
GAME NOTES vs. Daniel Webster
With the score tied at 3-3 in the first set, Morrissey again took control from the service line. The DS served eight straight points to put PSU in the driver's seat. Three kills by Taffe gave the Panthers a 19-8 lead and PSU closed the set with a 25-15 win.
Daniel Webster held a lead for most of the second set, going up 20-15 after a Panther attack error. PSU rallied to tie the score at 22-22, but the Eagles bounced back to hang on for the 25-23 win.
PSU roared out to a 9-1 lead in the third set behind the strong serving of Claire Sporer. Sporer and Flanagan paced the offense as the duo combined for 10 kills on 20 swings with just one error in the dominating 25-13 win. Sophomore Jill Tiner (Salem, N.H.) added a pair of kills in the set.
Sporer's serve again put PSU ahead early in the fourth set. The junior ripped three aces as the Panthers grabbed a 12-1 lead. DWC came back, cutting the deficit to 23-22, but a Tabor kill coupled with an Eagle miscue gave Plymouth State the 25-22 win.
Granite State Challenge, New London, N.H. – Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Plymouth State vs. Rivier, 2:00 p.m.; Plymouth State vs. Colby-Sawyer, 4:00 p.m.
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