Panthers fall to host Colonials, rebound to sweep Lehman
DANBURY, Conn. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team earned a split in a pair of matches at Western Connecticut State University's Feldman Arena on Saturday afternoon. PSU dropped its Little East Conference (LEC) opener to the host Colonials, 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-19), before cruising to a 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-9, 25-12) over Lehman College.
Plymouth State moves to 7-5 (0-1 LEC), while WestConn, which swept Lehman in the nightcap, ends the day at 6-5 (1-0 LEC). Lehman drops to 3-7.
Plymouth State 0, Western Connecticut 3
Plymouth State 3, Lehman 0
Plymouth State 7-5, 0-1 LEC
Western Connecticut 6-5, 1-0 LEC
How it Happened (WestConn):
* In what would become a theme in the match, the hosts jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in the first set. PSU rallied and a kill from junior Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) and ace from classmate Shannon Howland (Delmar, N.Y.), coupled with a pair of Colonials errors, put the Panthers in front 17-15.
* WestConn rallied to pull back ahead 24-20, but the Panthers clawed back. A kill from junior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) and two Colonials' errors pulled PSU to within 24-23, but senior Kamari King (East Hartford, Conn.) gave the home team a 25-23 win with a kill to end the opening set.
* The hosts started the second set strong as well, pulling ahead 7-1 in the early going. After trailing 22-12, PSU again scratched back. Kills from Bowers and Flanagan sparked a PSU rally and a kill from senior Jill Tiner (Salem, N.H.) and WestConn error pulled the Panthers to within 23-18, but King again came up with a big kill and WCSU took set two 25-18.
* Western Connecticut took a 12-5 lead in the third set, forcing a Plymouth State timeout. The visitors regrouped behind a kill from Flanagan, who then went on to serve a pair of aces. Senior Ari Linden (Lena, Ill.) added a kill and a WestConn error pulled PSU to within 13-11.
* After a Linden kill cut the WCSU lead to 15-14, the hosts used a 3-0 lead to get some breathing room and PSU wouldn't get closer than three points the rest of the way.
Inside the Numbers (WestConn):
* Bowers led the Panthers with seven kills, with Flanagan adding six and Linden notching five.
* Flanagan and freshman Hannah Chartier (Weare, N.H.) paced the defense with 15 and 13 digs respectively.
* Howland and freshman Alexa Price (Moultonborough, N.H.) finished with 12 and nine assists, respectively.
* Sophomore Nicolina Chenard (Ardsley, N.Y.) led all players with 12 kills for the Colonials.
* WestConn's win breaks a string of five straight head-to-head wins for the Panthers.
How it Happened (Lehman):
* With the score knotted at five in the first set, PSU freshman Maria Wimpey (Concord, N.H.) served six straight points to give the Panthers a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Sophomore Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) had a pair of kills in the stretch.
* Howland's ace and Bowers' kill extended the lead to 19-9 and Tiner capped the first set with a kill for a 25-14 win.
* An ace from junior Annie Heller (Hudson, N.H.) gave the Panthers a 7-2 lead in the early stages of set two. Wimpey, Price and Flanagan chipped in with kills as the lead ballooned to 16-4 and Plymouth coasted to a 25-9 win in set two.
* Lehman stayed close through the start of the third set, pulling to within a point, 11-10, following an ace. PSU answered with a 9-0 run sparked by two kills from Flanagan and a pair of aces from Linden.
* The Panthers never let off the throttle and a kill from junior Allie Rogers (Sandown, N.H.) wrapped up the 25-12 win and the 3-0 sweep.
Inside the Numbers (Lehman):
* PSU posted a season high .377 attack percentage for the match, hitting an impressive .550 in set two and .438 in set three.
* The Panthers limited Lehman to just eight kills and a -.158 attack percentage.
* Flanagan finished with nine kills (.438 pct.) and Shaffer, Tiner and Bowers each chipped in with five. Shaffer hit a sparkling .625 (5-0-8).
* Price posted a match-high 17 assists, while the Panthers piled up 14 aces.
* Plymouth State improves to 2-0 all-time against the Lightning.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"It was a disappointing loss to WestConn today," said head coach Joan Forge. "We made too many offensive errors, but on the positive side our serve receive has improved tremendously and our serving was consistent. We controlled the match with Lehman from beginning to end and are very happy with our 14 aces and .377 hitting percentage. Everyone had an opportunity to contribute to the win."
* Plymouth State is back on the road on Wednesday (Sept. 19) with a non-conference game at Amherst (7:00 p.m.).
* WestConn hosts SUNY New Paltz in a non-conference game on Tuesday (Sept. 18) at 7:00 p.m.
* Lehman looks to stop its three-game skid at Brooklyn College on Thursday (Sept. 20). First serve is set for 6:00 p.m.
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