Panthers come up short in five-set losses to Rivier & Colby-Sawyer
NEW LONDON, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team wrapped up the Granite State Challenge with a pair of five-set losses Saturday, falling to Rivier University and Colby-Sawyer College. Rivier won in-state bragging rights after finishing the weekend 4-0. Plymouth State and Keene State College both finished 2-2, while Colby-Sawyer and Daniel Webster College ended play with 1-3 records.
Granite State Challenge, New London, N.H. – Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Plymouth State 2, Rivier 3 24-26, 25-23, 13-25, 25-21, 5-15
Plymouth State 2, Colby-Sawyer 3 25-14, 15-25, 25-16, 22-25, 12-15
Plymouth State 3-5; Rivier 8-0; Colby-Sawyer 2-6.
PSU LEADERS vs. Rivier
* Senior Dani Tabor (Seattle, Wash.) … 15 kills
* Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) … nine kills, 10 digs, five aces
* Sophomore Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) … nine kills, seven digs, two aces
* Senior Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) … five kills, .444 attack pct. (5-1-9)
* Junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) … team-high 18 digs
* Junior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.N.) … 39 assists, eight digs
GAME NOTES vs. Rivier
PSU built an early lead behind an ace and kill from Claire Sporer, and a kill from Tabor. The Panthers maintained a slight advantage until a Rivier kill tied the score at 20-20. An ace from Flanagan gave PSU a 24-22 lead, but the Raiders responded with four straight points to take the opening set 26-24.
Back-to-back service aces from Sporer put the Panthers in front 11-7 before Rivier claimed an 18-16 lead. After knotting the score at 20-20, another Sporer ace paired with a Flanagan kill and Rivier miscue put PSU in front 23-20. Flanagan added another kill to give the Panthers set-point (24-21), before a pair of long rallies won by the Raiders cut the lead to 24-23. A booming kill from senior Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) gave PSU the 25-23 win.
The third set belonged to Rivier. The Raiders attacked early, building a 12-3 lead behind their middle attack. A kill from Sporer cut the deficit to 17-10 but PSU wouldn't get any closer as Rivier won 25-13.
Tied at 8-8 in the fourth set, the Panthers ran four straight points after kills from Flanagan and senior Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.), a block from Sporer and a Raider miscue. Plymouth State maintained the advantage and a kill from Tabor made it 18-13. The PSU lead ballooned to 23-16 after a Sporer kill, but Rivier responded with four straight points to make it 23-20. A kill from Taffe gave the Panthers set-point, and Taffe and Wyland combined for a block to take the set 25-21 and force the deciding fifth set.
The fifth set was dominated by the Rivier defense and middle attack. After an early 2-2 tie, the Radiers used a 9-0 run to seize control of the set and match, earning a 15-5 victory.
PSU LEADERS vs. Colby-Sawyer
* Wyland … match-high 16 kills, .333 attack pct. (16-4-36)
* Wojtas … 11 kills, four blocks, two aces
* Taffe … 10 kills, .500 attack pct. (10-1-18)
* Freshman setter Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.) … 21 assists, four aces, five digs, two blocks
* Bailey … 18 assists
* Peruch … match-high 21 digs
* C. Sporer … seven kills, 10 digs
* Flanagan … 14 digs
GAME NOTES vs. Colby-Sawyer
Plymouth State opened up a 12-5 lead after a kill and block from freshman Sam Walker (Durham, N.H.). Colby-Sawyer cut the deficit to 14-10 before a 6-2 run put the Panthers up 20-12. Wyland, Sporer and Wojtas each had kills during the spurt. Wojtas added three more kills in the final push to give the Panthers a 25-14 win.
CSC took an early 5-2 lead before a kill from Taffe put the Panthers in front 10-9. With the score tied at 13-13, the Chargers used a 5-1 run to pull ahead 18-14. A kill from Wyland gave the Panthers life, but Colby-Sawyer responded with seven straight points to take the second set 25-15.
Howland sparked the Panthers in the third set. Trailing 13-11, the rookie setter turned the momentum with a block, then ripped four aces as part of a 9-0 run to put PSU up 20-13. Plymouth was able to hold on for the 25-16 win.
The fourth set was back-and-forth with neither team able to build more than a three-point lead. Sporer, Wojtas and Howland combined on a block and a Charger miscue put the Panthers up 19-15. Moments later a Wojtas kill and CSC attack error gave PSU a 22-17 lead. Colby-Sawyer ran eight straight points, though, shocking the Panthers and taking the set 25-22.
The deciding set was another close battle early on. A kill from Wojtas tied the score at 6-6. Colby-Sawyer claimed an 11-7 lead after a PSU error, but the visitors responded to tie the game at 12-12 after two kills from Taffe. A CSC block gave the Chargers a 13-12 lead, and they added two more points to take the set 15-12.
Plymouth State @ Emmanuel College, Boston, Mass. – Wednesday, Sept. 14 (7:00 p.m.)
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