Surging Panthers win sixth straight, improve to 2-0 in LEC
DANBURY, Conn. – Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) had three of her 13 kills in the deciding fifth set to help guide the Plymouth State University women's volleyball team to a 3-2 victory over Western Connecticut State University in a key Little East Conference (LEC) match Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena. PSU added a sweep over Worcester State University in the nightcap to win its sixth straight match.
The surging Panthers have now won nine-of-eleven to improve to 9-5 (2-0 LEC) on the season. With the loss, Western Connecticut falls to 8-4 (0-2 LEC), while Worcester State drops to 6-6. Results from the WCSU – Worcester State match were not readily available.
Feldman Arena, Danbury, Conn. – Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016
Plymouth State 3, Western Connecticut 2 21-25, 26-24, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12
Plymouth State 3, Worcester State 0 25-19, 25-14, 25-16
Plymouth State 9-5; Western Connecticut 8-4; Worcester State 6-6
PSU LEADERS vs. Western Connecticut
* Sporer … 13 kills, 15 digs, three aces
* Senior Dani Tabor (Seattle, Wash.) … team-high 16 kills
* Senior Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) … nine kills, .364 attack pct. (9-1-22), two blocks
* Senior Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) … seven kills
* Senior Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) … five kills, four blocks
* Junior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) … match-high 45 assists, nine digs
* Junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) … match-high 19 digs
* Senior Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) … 12 digs
* Sophomore Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) … seven digs
GAME NOTES vs. Western Connecticut
Western Connecticut held a 12-8 lead in the opening set, before a kill from Tabor sparked a 5-0 Panther run. Sporer and Wojtas each had a kill in the stretch, which included an ace from Flanagan. Moments later WCSU regained a 17-15 lead but the Panthers again responded, scoring four straight points and forcing a Colonials' timeout. With the score tied at 20-20, WCSU scored three straight points before a kill from Wyland made it 23-21. A pair of WCSU kills gave the hosts the first set win (25-21).
The Colonials led 14-11 in the second set, but PSU answered with an 8-2 run to pull in front 19-16 behind a pair of kills from Tabor, and single kills from Sporer and Taffe. WCSU rallied to knot the set at 20-20, but a kill from Taffe and a Western Connecticut error put PSU back in front 22-20. The Colonials rallied again, fighting back to tie the score at 24-24 before the Panthers took advantage of consecutive WCSU miscues to take the set 26-24.
The third set was another back-and-forth affair. With the score tied 13-13, Wyland scored back-to-back kills and a WCSU error put the Panthers ahead 16-13. The hosts responded with a 6-0 run to pull in front and force a Plymouth timeout. PSU rallied, and a kill from Wojtas tied the score at 21-21, before a pair of WCSU errors put the Panthers up 23-21. WCSU cut the lead to 24-23, but a kill from Bailey gave Plymouth State the 25-23 win.
Western Connecticut took a 5-3 lead early in the fifth set, but a block by Wyland and an ace from Morrissey tied the score at 5-5. A Plymouth error put WCSU back in front, but the Panthers rebounded with five straight points to grab a 10-6 lead. The Colonials rallied to tie the game at 10-10 and force a PSU timeout, but the Panthers answered with three straight points. A kill from Sporer put the visitors in front 14-11 before WCSU closed to within 14-12. Following a Plymouth timeout, Sporer's final kill gave PSU the 15-12 win.
PSU LEADERS vs. Worcester State
* Wojtas … eight kills, .538 attack pct. (8-1-13), three aces
* C. Sporer … eight kills, three aces, one block
* Wyland … eight kills, one block
* Bailey … match-high 30 assists, seven digs
* Peruch … match-high 16 digs
* Morrissey … five digs
* Senior Hannah Hyatt (Andover, Conn.) … four digs, one ace
* Junior Grace Sporer (Medford, Ore.) … four digs
GAME NOTES vs. Worcester State
Plymouth State opened up a 5-1 lead in the early going behind kills from Taffe and Tabor, along with an ace by Claire Sporer. The Panthers maintained a three or four point lead most of the set, until Worcester State was able to cut the deficit to 16-14. A flurry of kills from Sporer gave PSU a 20-16 lead, then Bailey served three straight points to extend the advantage to 23-16. The Lancers battled back with three straight points, before consecutive WSU errors gave Plymouth State a 25-19 first set win.
Already leading 4-3, Hyatt sparked the Panthers with a five point service run. Wojtas had three kills in the stretch, and Hyatt added an ace. Moments later PSU upped the margin to 16-5 after a kill by Taffe. The Lancers responded with four straight points, but Plymouth scored seven of the next nine, including three kills from sophomore Jill Tiner (Salem, N.H.), to pull ahead 23-11. A Lancer error gave Plymouth the second set, 25-14.
The Panthers would never trail in the third set. A kill from Flanagan put PSU up 11-5 before Worcester State rallied for four straight points. That was as close as they would get, however, as the Panthers used a WSU error and consecutive aces from Wojtas to go ahead 14-9. Worcester State again attempted a comeback, cutting the margin to 16-13, but the PSU answered with a 6-0 run behind the serving of Bailey to put the game out of reach. Wyland had two kills in the run, while Sporer added one. Wojtas wrapped up the straight-set, 25-16 win with a kill.
Plymouth State vs. UMass-Boston, Plymouth, N.H. – Tuesday, Sept. 27 (6:00 p.m.)
Western Connecticut vs. SUNY-New Paltz, Danbury, Conn. – Tuesday, Sept. 27 (7:00 p.m.)
Worcester State vs. Bridgewater State, Worcester, Mass. – Wednesday, Sept. 28 (7:00 p.m.)
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