Panthers extended win streak to eight; set to face UMD for title on Saturday
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) posted a double-double with a match-high 13 kills and 12 digs Thursday evening as second-seeded Plymouth State University defeated third-seeded Western Connecticut State University, 3-0, in a Little East Conference Women's Volleyball Tournament semifinal match at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers, 20-10 overall, extended their winning streak to eight matches and earned a berth in the LEC Championship match Saturday at top-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston (1:00 p.m.). Western Conn, which took the Panthers to five sets in the regular season match on Sept. 24, concludes its season at 20-11.
PSU will be making its first LEC championship match appearance since losing in the finals to UMass Boston in 2011. The Panthers are seeking their first Little East title since 2004.
Little East Conference Women's Volleyball Semifinal
at Foley Gymnasium, Plymouth, N.H. – Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016
Plymouth State 3, Western Connecticut 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-22)
PSU 20-10; Western Connecticut 20-11
* Sporer also recorded a team-high .333 attack percentage (13-3-30).
* Seniors Brianna Wojtas (Salem, N.H.) and Dani Tabor (Seattle, Wash.) were solid contributors for the Panthers with nine kills each, while classmate Kayla Wyland (Melrose, Mass.) chipped in with eight winners. Wojtas also posted a team-best three blocks.
* Junior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) smoothly ran the offense, posting 38 assists, a season-high for a three-set match.
* Junior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) collected a team-high 16 digs to lead a group of four Panthers in double-digits digs, including Sporer (12), Bailey (10) and sophomore Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) with 10.
* PSU hit .259 as a team, matching their fourth-best outing in 30 matches this season.
* Senior Karissa Smith (Bristol, Conn.) led the visitors with nine kills, while sophomore Kamari King (East Hartford, Conn.) and senior Cady Cordes (Fallon, Nev.) added five winners each.
* Senior setter Danielle Kaminsky (Southington, Conn.) finished with 24 assists for the Colonials.
* Cordes topped the team with 13 digs while sophomore Jenna Pisano (Orange, Conn.) collected 11 and Smith added 10.
* Western managed just a .075 attack percentage in the match.
* The first set was very close the entire way. It was tied a 7-7 early on before PSU started to pull away to five-point advantages (15-10 and 18-13). The Colonials staged a rally and came back to tie the set at 20-20, and took the lead at 22-21. PSU didn't falter, and won three of the last four points to pull out a 26-24 win.
* The second set was back and forth as well, with neither team leading by more than two points until late in the set. PSU rattled off a 6-1 burst to pull ahead 23-19 before closing out the set.
* The home team stormed out of the gate in the third set, winning the first six points on five strong kills, but Western stayed focused and came back strong, taking a 14-11 advantage. PSU responded with four straight points to regain the lead, 15-14. The score was tied at 17-17 and 19-all when PSU won five of the next six points before closing out the match.
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