Panthers look to regroup for LEC opener on Saturday
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team pounded down ten kills in the opening set, but Middlebury College rallied to earn a 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-9) victory in a non-conference game at Foley Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
PSU was able to stay close through the majority of the opening set before the visiting Panthers were able to pull away late.
Plymouth State drops to 6-4, while Middlebury moves to 3-1.
Plymouth State 0, Middlebury 3
Plymouth State 6-4
How it Happened:
* Middlebury took a 19-14 lead in the first set following a kill from sophomore Shea Golden (Greenville, N.C.), but PSU took advantage of a service error and kills from sophomore Carabeth Norklun (Goffstown, N.H.) and junior Allie Rogers (Sandown, N.H.) to cut the deficit to 19-17.
* Senior Sarah Staver (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) recorded one of her eight kills to stop the Plymouth run. The green-and-white would cut the deficit to 21-19 following another kill from Rogers, but the visitors were able to close out the set 25-21.
* Middlebury jumped out to a 5-1 lead to open the second set, but the home team rallied and consecutive kills from sophomore Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) and junior Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) cut the margin to 9-8. After Middlebury extended the lead again, PSU clawed back and a thundering kill from senior Ari Linden (Lena, Ill.) made it 14-13.
* The visitors seized control from there, scoring 11-of-12 points to take the second set, 25-14.
* The third set was all Middlebury. The visitors' offense clicked and used six kills, including three from Staver, to mount a 9-0 run. Shaffer momentarily stopped the streak with a kill, but Middlebury got the ball right back and PSU was unable to get back into the match, falling 25-9.
Inside the Numbers:
* Rogers posted a .429 attack percentage, while junior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) posted four kills without an error (4-0-11).
* Bowers led the PSU defense with eight digs, while freshman libero Hannah Chartier (Weare, N.H.) chipped in with six.
* After being limited to a .182 attack percentage in the opening set, Middlebury's offense erupted to hit .481 and .538 over the final two.
* Freshmen Corley Doyle (San Francisco, Calif.) and Maggie Wise (Winchester, Va.) and Staver combined for 24 Middlebury kills without an error (24-0-35).
* Middlebury senior Isabel Sessions (Chicago, Ill.) posted a match-high 12 kills, while junior Chellsa Ferdinand (Queens, N.Y.) notched 39 assists.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I thought the team rose to the occasion," said head coach Joan Forge. "We came out doing exactly what we talked about in our game plan. I thought we kept them off balance in the first set, but once we started giving up free balls our defense couldn't match up with their offense."
* PSU opens Little East Conference (LEC) play with a tri-match at Western Connecticut State on Saturday (Sept. 15). The Panthers face the host Colonials at noon, before squaring off against non-conference opponent Lehman at 2:00 p.m.
* Middlebury also gets into conference play over the weekend, hosting Amherst for a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) match Friday (Sept. 14) at 7:00 p.m.
– 30 –