Panthers swept by RIT, Rivier
KEENE, N.H. – Plymouth State University dropped a pair of 3-0 decisions to Rochester Institute of Technology (25-18, 25-9, 25-21) and Rivier University (25-18, 25-15, 25-22) to wrap up play at the Granite State Challenge at Spaulding Gym on Saturday.
PSU finished the weekend an even 2-2 to move to 6-3 on the season. The Panthers have gone an even 10-10 at the GSC since the tournament started in 2014. RIT, playing in the tournament for the first time, finished the weekend a perfect 4-0, while Rivier went 3-1 to improve to 17-3 all-time.
Plymouth State 0, RIT 3
Plymouth State 0, Rivier 3
Plymouth State 6-3
How it Happened (RIT):
* PSU trailed early in the first set, but a kill from sophomore Carabeth Norklun (Goffstown, N.H.) and block from seniors Jill Tiner (Salem, N.H.) and Ari Linden (Lena, Ill.) pull the Panthers to within 10-9.
* Trailing 11-10, the Tigers used a 6-1 run to take control before sophomore Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) stopped the spurt with a kill.
* RIT maintained a six point lead the rest of the way.
* Back-to-back kills by Bowers tied the second set at 5-5 and, after RIT pulled ahead, junior Allie Rogers (Sandown, N.H.) found the floor to cut the margin to 9-7.
* The Tigers followed with a long serving run to take a commanding 22-8 lead on the way to a 25-9 win.
* PSU battled back in the third set and sophomore Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) and Bowers teamed up for a block to tie the game at 9-9.
* Shaffer gave Plymouth the lead with a kill and junior Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.) served three aces as the Panthers took an 18-12 lead, but RIT rallied with a 7-1 spurt to even things at 19-apiece.
* PSU went in front, 20-19, on a Bowers kill, but the Tigers would score six of the next seven points to complete the sweep.
Inside the Numbers (RIT):
- Bowers led the Panthers with five kills, while junior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) led the defense with seven digs.
- Howland continued her torrid pace behind the service line, adding another four aces to her season total.
- Linden finished the match with a team-high three blocks.
- PSU dropped its only other meeting with RIT by a 3-1 margin back in 2005.
How it Happened (Rivier):
* Rivier jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first set but a 7-3 run pulled the Panthers to within 13-12.
* Tiner's kill cut the Rivier lead to 16-14, but the Raiders used a 6-2 run to gain control. Norklun and Flanagan added kills in the late stages, but Rivier held on for the 25-18 win.
* The Raiders used an 8-0 run to turn a one-point lead into an 11-2 advantage early in the second set and PSU wouldn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
* Consecutive aces from Howland gave PWU a 12-9 lead in the middle stages of set three but neither team was able to gain more than a three-point advantage.
* After Rivier went in front, Flanagan's kill pulled the Panthers to within 19-17, but the Raiders used a four point spurt to take control.
* Trailing 24-18, freshman Maria Wimpey (Concord, N.H.) sparked PSU with a kill and the Panthers ran off three straight points to close to 24-21, but the deficit proved too large as Rivier closed the weekend with a 25-21 win.
Inside the Numbers (Rivier):
* The Panthers' middles, Norklun and Linden, combined for seven kills and zero errors on 14 attempts (.500).
* Bowers (six kills, 11 digs) and Flanagan (five kills, seven digs, two aces) also had strong games for PSU.
* Howland led the team with 14 assists and added another three aces.
* After winning ten of the first 11 meetings between the two teams, PSU has dropped six straight.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We faced two tough teams today," said head coach Joan Forge. "We'll use these losses as a learning experience."
* The Panthers are back home on Tuesday (Sept. 11) for a non-conference match-up with Middlebury College. First serve is set for 6:00 p.m.
* RIT is back in action on Saturday (Sept. 15), playing host to Houghton College and Penn State Behrend as part of the RIT Tournament.
* Rivier travels to Regis College on Thursday (Sept. 13) for its Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener. Game time is 7:00 p.m.
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