Sporer, Bowers lead Panthers to fourth straight win
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.) and sophomore Alexis Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) combined for 31 kills to lead Plymouth State University past Lasell College, 3-1, in non-conference women's volleyball action at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
The Panthers have won four straight matches to improve to 9-4, while Lasell falls to 3-8.
Plymouth got off to a slow start, dropping the opening set 25-17, then falling into a 7-0 hole to open the second. The Panthers rallied to tie the score at 8-8. With the game tied at 14-14, freshman Nikki Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) ran six straight points for the home team to build a cushion. The Lasers responded, cutting the lead to 20-19, but a kill from junior Ari Linden (Lena, Ill.) stopped the surge and moments later Sporer's kill evened the match at a set apiece.
PSU held a slight 12-10 margin in the early goings of the third set before a kill from Bowers sparked the home team. Flanagan again went on a lengthy service run, including a pair of aces, and the Panthers pulled ahead 19-10 before coasting to a 25-15 win.
Neither team was able to build much of an advantage in the early stages of the fourth set. The home team crept ahead 15-12 after a Lasell error, but the Lasers answered with two straight points to make it 15-14. Bowers had a pair of kills to put the hosts up 20-16, but Lasell would not go quietly. The visitors were able to cut the lead to 22-21 after a service ace, but PSU answered with a sideout and a Laser error and kill from Sporer wrapped up the 25-21 win for the Panthers.
Sporer matched her season-high with 17 kills, while Bowers finished with 14. Linden added eight kills and four blocks, while senior setter Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) posted her third double-double of the year with 34 assists and 10 digs. Senior Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) led a quartet of Panthers with double-digit digs, posting 22. Flanagan added 12 digs, with senior Grace Sporer (Medford, Ore.) contributing 10.
"We started a little slow tonight," said head coach Chris Kilmer, "but I was really happy with the way we responded after falling down early in the second set. Megan did a great job distributing the ball and our defense and serve receive, led by Brenna and Grace, really stepped it up."
Plymouth State looks to continue its winning ways on Saturday when the Panthers host LEC rival Eastern Connecticut State (12:00 p.m.) and non-conference opponent UMaine Presque Isle (4:00 p.m.) for a Homecoming Weekend tri-match.
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