Taffe, Wojtas lead Panthers over Sharks after falling to Emerson
BOSTON, Mass. – Seniors Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) and Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) combined for 20 kills and seven blocks to lead the Plymouth State University women's volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Simmons College in a non-conference match at Moore Gymnasium on Saturday night. Earlier in the evening the duo dropped 18 kills in a 3-0 loss to Emerson College.
Moore Gymnasium, Boston, Mass. – Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016
Plymouth State 0, Emerson 3 18-25, 21-25, 14-25
Plymouth State 3, Simmons 1 25-21, 25-20, 31-33, 25-20
Plymouth State 10-7; Emerson 13-5; Simmons 4-9
PSU LEADERS vs. Emerson
* Taffe … 10 kills, .526 attck pct. (10-0-19), two blocks
* Wojtas … eight kills
* Sophomore Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) … six kills
* Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) … five kills, four aces
* Junior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) … 25 assists
* Junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) … match-high 16 digs
GAME NOTES vs. Emerson
Plymouth State held a 6-4 lead in the opening set, but the Lions ran five straight points to pull in front. A pair of Emerson errors, sandwiched around a kill by Sporer tied the score at 9-9, but Emerson answered with a 4-0 run to take the lead for good. PSU would close the set with a late run but the Lions took the first set 25-18.
Sporer ignited the PSU offense to open the second set. After a kill, the outside hitter served seven straight points to give the Panthers a quick 8-0 lead. Sporer had three aces in the run, while Flanagan and senior Dani Tabor (Seattle, Wash.) each had a kill. The teams traded points, with Flanagan connecting from Bailey again to put Plymouth State ahead 17-11, but the Lions responded with an 8-2 run to knot the score at 19-19. There were four lead changes over the final eight points and Emerson pulled out the 25-21 win.
Another ace from Sporer put PSU ahead 4-2 in the third set, but Emerson answered with four straight points to take the lead. Plymouth twice cut the margin to one, but that was as close as the Panthers would get as the Lions completed the sweep with a 25-14 win.
PSU LEADERS vs. Simmons
* Taffe … 10 kills, .444 attack pct. (10-2-18), five blocks
* Wojtas … 10 kills, .471 attack pct. (10-2-17), two blocks
* Sporer … nine kills, five aces, 21 digs
* Tabor … eight kills, four digs, two blocks
* Peruch … 16 digs
* Freshman setter Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.) … 38 assists, two aces, seven digs
GAME NOTES vs. Simmons
A kill from Taffe and a pair of Sharks' errors gave PSU a quick 3-0 lead, but Simmons responded with four straight points to move in front. Consecutive kills from Sporer and Taffe gave the visitors a 12-9 lead, causing a Simmons timeout. Moments later Sporer served six straight points, including a trio of aces, to push the lead to 19-11. With PSU in front 22-14 the Sharks answered with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 24-21, but Taffe connected again and Plymouth won the opener 25-21.
Simmons scored the first four points of the second set, but the Panthers rallied and another Taffe kill put the visitors in front 15-11. The Sharks answered six of the next seven points to reclaim the lead, 17-16. Senior Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) served PSU back in front 21-17, and an ace by Howland gave the Panthers a 25-20 win.
Plymouth State took an early 8-3 lead in the third set, leading to a Simmons timeout. PSU maintained a slight advantage and back-to-back kills from Sporer, followed by a kill by Taffe put the Panthers up 19-15 and forced the Sharks to use their second timeout. Simmons answered with six of the next eight points to even the set at 21-21. Each team would have multiple opportunities to win the set, but the finally got consecutive kills to eke out a 33-31 victory.
The two teams stayed close during the start of the fourth set. PSU used kills from Taffe and senior Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) along with an ace from Howland to claim a 12-8 lead, but the Sharks battled right back to within 14-13. A kill from Wojtas sparked the Panthers, as Morrissey served four straight points to put Plymouth ahead 19-13. The teams played even from there, with a kill by Tabor securing the 25-20 win for PSU.
Plymouth State vs. University of Southern Maine, Plymouth, N.H. – Tuesday, Oct. 4 (6:00 p.m.)
Emerson at Wheaton, Norton, Mass. – Tuesday, Oct. 4 (7:00 p.m.)
Simmons at Lasell, Newton, Mass. – Wednesday, Oct. 5 (7:00 p.m.)
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