Panther offense shines in 3-0 victories over Mt. Holyoke and Smith
KEENE, N.H. – Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) notched 24 kills and classmate Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) paced the offense with 69 assists in a pair of 3-0 sweeps at the LEC-NEWMAC Challenge hosted by Keene State College on Saturday afternoon.
In the opener against Mt. Holyoke College, Sporer dropped 11 kills while Bailey recorded 36 assists in helping the team post a season-best .415 attack percentage (41-7-82).
Against Smith College, Sporer again led the offense pounding 13 kills while Bailey posted 33 assists.
With the pair of wins the Panthers now stand at 15-10 and will make the trip back to Keene State for an important Little East Conference match-up with the Owls on Wednesday night (7:00 p.m.).
Spaulding Gymnasium, Keene, N.H. – Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016
Plymouth State 3, Mt. Holyoke 0 25-14, 25-11, 25-20
Plymouth State 3, Smith 0 25-18, 25-20, 25-16
Plymouth State 15-10; Mt. Holyoke 3-13; Smith 3-17
PSU LEADERS vs. Mt. Holyoke
* Sporer … 11 kills, .269 attack pct. (11-4-26), 10 digs, three aces
* Bailey … 36 assists, six digs, one ace
* Senior Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) … eight kills, .800 attack pct. (8-0-10), one ace
* Senior Dani Tabor (Seattle, Wash.) … six kills, .667 attack pct. (6-0-9)
* Senior Mikki Taffe (Sandown, N.H.) … five kills, .444 attack pct. (5-1-9), one block
* Sophomore Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) … three kills, seven aces, four digs
* Senior Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) … five kills
* Junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) … 11 digs, two aces
GAME NOTES vs. Mt. Holyoke
The Panthers took a 10-5 lead in the opening set after Sporer's first kill of the match. Mt. Holyoke responded with four straight points to cut the deficit to 10-9, but Plymouth State would score seven of the next nine points to pull ahead 17-11. Tabor had three kills in the run, while senior Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) added an ace. Flanagan served to put PSU ahead 21-12 and a pair of kills from Taffe, paired with a Lyons' error, gave Plymouth a 25-14 win.
Flanagan stepped to the service line with a 6-3 advantage in the second set, before rattling off three straight aces. Kills from Sporer and Wojtas, followed by another Flanagan ace, put the Panthers ahead 12-3, forcing an MHC timeout. The Panthers maintained the advantage throughout the middle of the set. A kill from Sporer caused Mt. Holyoke to call its second timeout trailing 17-9. Sporer then added a pair of aces to increase the lead. Freshman Alexis Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) connected from Bailey to put PSU up 22-10 and moments later the rookie's second kill of the set gave the Panthers a 25-11 victory.
Mt. Holyoke refused to go quietly, as the third set was tightly contested throughout. MHC led 14-11, but a Sporer kill knotted the game at 15-15. The Lyons retook the lead at 16-15, but a kill from Taffe and an ace by Sporer put the Panthers up for good. An ace from Peruch put PSU up 20-17, and a Wyland connected on a pair of kills for a 22-18 margin. Mt. Holyoke cut the deficit to 22-20, but kills from Wojtas and Sporer, paired with another ace from Flanagan, gave the Panthers the 25-20 win.
PSU LEADERS vs. Smith
* Sporer … 13 kills, .370 attack pct. (13-3-27), six digs
* Bailey … 33 assists, six digs, three kills
* Tabor … eight kills
* Wyland … seven kills, .368 attack pct. (7-0-19), four blocks
* Peruch … 11 digs
* Flanagan … 11 digs
* Morrissey … six digs, two aces
* Wojtas … seven kills, three blocks
GAME NOTES vs. Smith
Smith came out firing in the opening set, running out to an 8-1 lead, before Morrissey served the Panthers to within 8-7. Tabor had three kills in the run, while Bailey and Wojtas teamed up for a block. The Pioneers still held a 13-9 lead before kills from Sporer and Wyland evened the set at 13-13. Another Wyland kill gave PSU the lead for good, 15-14, and sparked a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 19-14. A Wojtas kill closed out the Panther comeback, 25-18.
Taffe and Wyland combined on a block to put the Panthers up 11-6 in the second set. Smith fought back, taking a 14-13 lead after a service ace but PSU rallied to tie the score at 17-17. Two kills from Taffe, sandwiched around a pair of Smith errors, gave Plymouth State a 21-18 lead. Smith cut the deficit to 21-20, but PSU responded with five straight points, including a block and kill from Wyland, to take the second set 25-20.
The Panthers wouldn't trail in the third set. Kills from Tabor and Wojtas and an ace from Peruch put PSU up 3-0. Smith cut the lead to 8-7, but Sporer served four straight to increase the lead to 12-7. Kills from Wyland, Tabor and Sporer, along with an ace from junior Grace Sporer (Medford, Ore.) upped the PSU lead to 19-9. The Pioneers cut the deficit back to 22-16, but a Smith error and kills from Taffe and freshman Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.) gave Plymouth State a 25-16 win.
Plymouth State at Keene State College, Keene, N.H. – Wednesday, Oct. 19 (7:00 p.m.)
Smith at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. – Tuesday, Oct. 18 (7:00 p.m.)
Mt. Holyoke at Albertus Magnus, New Haven, Conn. – Tuesday, Oct. 18 (7:00 p.m.)
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