Peruch totals 62 digs as Panthers top Worcester State, Framingham State
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team swept a pair of matches against Worcester State University (26-24, 25-21, 25-22) and Framingham State University (25-17, 25-18, 23-25, 27-25) at the FSU Athletic Center Saturday afternoon.
In the opening match the Panthers snapped Worcester State's 12-match win streak. The Lancers hadn't lost since being shutout, 3-0, at Keene State on September 19. With the pair of wins, PSU improves to 16-8, while Worcester State falls to 17-7 and Framingham State drops to 8-16.
PSU fell behind 14-9 in the opening set to Worcester State, before sophomore Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.) ran a string of five straight points, including an ace, to even the score. The Panthers held a 23-20 lead after a kill from junior Ari Linden (Lena, Ill.), but the Lancers rallied with four straight points to pull ahead 24-23. Following a PSU timeout, kills from sophomore Alexis Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) and senior Claire Sporer (Medford, Ore.), sandwiched around a WSU error, gave the Panthers the 26-24 win.
The Panthers found themselves down 15-11 in the second set, when senior Megan Bailey (Canterbury, N.H.) served the team back even, adding a pair of aces in the string of points. Worcester State pulled ahead 20-18, but the Panthers rattled off seven of the next eight points and senior Grace Sporer (Medford, Ore.) closed out the 25-21 win with an ace.
Worcester State again held a lead in the middle stages of the third set, this time with a 14-11 edge. Howland stepped to the service line and ran seven straight points to give the Panthers an 18-14 advantage. PSU would maintain the lead and a Linden kill wrapped up the 25-22 win.
Linden and C. Sporer led the offense with 11 kills each, with Bowers chipping in ten. Bailey guided the offense with 34 assists and added 10 digs and three aces, while Howland added four aces of her own. Senior libero Brenna Peruch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) led all players with 28 digs, as G. Sporer added 13.
PSU led from start to finish in the opening set against Framingham State. Junior Jill Tiner (Salem, N.H.) pounded home five kills without an error as PSU built an early 13-8 lead. The Panthers maintained a five-point cushion until a late service run from Peruch. Tiner's fifth kill gave PSU a 25-17 win.
The Panthers opened the second set with seven straight points. The Rams chipped away, cutting the deficit to 16-14, but PSU answered as G. Sporer served an ace to give the visitors some breathing room. A pair of booming kills from freshman Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) gave Plymouth State the second set, 25-18.
Down 0-2, FSU fought back. The Rams pulled ahead 16-13, but Plymouth State came back, ultimately taking a 23-22 lead. A pair of Panthers' errors, though, coupled with an FSU kill gave the hosts a 25-23 win.
The Rams looked poised to force a fifth set, as they took a 16-11 lead, but PSU rallied with an 8-1 run and a block from C. Sporer and Shaffer forced an FSU timeout. The Panthers extended the lead to 19-17 following a kill from Tiner, but the hosts rallied to tie the game. Framingham went ahead 24-23 after a solo block, but Linden and C. Sporer had kills to put PSU up 25-24. Following an FSU point, Linden and Shaffer each slammed home kills to give the Panthers the 27-25 win.
Shaffer paced the Panther offense with a match-high 12 kills (.241 attack pct.) and added three blocks. Tiner pounded home 11 kills while hitting .409, and Linden added 10 kills (.259 attack pct.). Bailey posted 38 assists in her three sets of work, with junior Kennedy Mang (Livonia, Mich.) adding ten in one set. Peruch led a quartet of Panthers in double-digit digs, posting a match-high 34. C. Sporer posted 16, with G. Sporer adding 15 to go along with four aces. Bowers chipped in with 13 digs.
Plymouth State closes out the regular season with a four-match home stand. The Panthers will host Little East foe Western Connecticut State (12:00 p.m.) and Clark University (4:00 p.m.) for a tri-match next Saturday (Oct. 21).
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