Panthers sweep Mount Holyoke, Norwich in straight sets
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team rebounded from its first loss of the season with two impressive performances in a pair of 3-0 sweeps over Mount Holyoke College and Norwich University in non-conference action at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday.
PSU cruised past Mount Holyoke (25-14, 25-18, 25-16) in the first match of the day, then held off Norwich (28-26, 25-21, 25-21) in the nightcap. Norwich earned a 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-13) win over the Lyons in the day's middle match.
Senior Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) led the offense in the win over MHC, pounding down a match-high nine kills in just two sets as the PSU defense limited the Lyons to a .035 attack percentage. Against Norwich, Bowers led the defense with 18 digs and junior Carabeth Norklun (Goffstown, N.H.) smashed ten kills in a back-and-forth battle.
Plymouth State improves to 11-1 on the year and heads out on the road for three matches next week. With a split of its games, Norwich moves to 6-3, while Mount Holyoke falls to 2-7.
Plymouth State 3, Mount Holyoke 0
Plymouth State 3, Norwich 0
Plymouth State (11-1)
Mount Holyoke (2-7)
How it Happened (Mount Holyoke):
- Plymouth State jumped out to an early 11-4 lead following a lengthy service run by senior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.).
- Kills from Norklun and Bowers pushed the advantage to 20-9 and the Panthers took the first set, 25-14, on a Lyons' service error.
- The second set stayed close with PSU holding onto an 18-16 lead, before a Norklun kill sparked a 5-0 spurt and Bowers' kill capped off the 25-18 win.
- PSU scored the first four points of the third set and never trailed on the way to completing the sweep with a 25-16 victory.
Inside the Numbers (Mount Holyoke):
- Bowers' nine kills led the way, while freshman Emilee Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) added seven. Senior Allie Rogers (Sandown, N.H.), junior Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) and Norklun all chipped in with five.
- Sophomore Alexa Price (Moultonborough, N.H.) guided the offense with 20 assists through the first two sets, before giving way to classmate Maria Wimpey (Concord, N.H.), who tallied 11 in the third set alone.
- Price and A. Flanagan led the defense with nine digs apiece.
- The Panthers hit .337 for the match, including .455 (18-3-33) in the second set.
- PSU showed off its depth as all healthy players made an appearance.
How it Happened (Norwich):
- The first set was a battle that featured 20 ties and nine lead changes as neither team led by more than two points throughout.
- Norwich went ahead 23-22 on a PSU error, but kills from Rogers and Shaffer made it 24-23. Norwich rallied with two straight points, but a hitting error and block from Price and Norklun gave the hosts a 26-25 lead. Again the Cadets battled back to even the score, but Bowers came back with a kill and a Norwich error gave the Panthers a 28-26 win in set one.
- PSU used a 4-0 spurt to break a 10-10 tie in set two and the Panthers would lead the rest of the way. Norwich pulled to within 21-19 late, but another Bowers kill and back-to-back Cadets' errors created some space and Plymouth would hold on for a 25-21 win.
- Plymouth State used the strong serve of Price to build a 5-0 lead in set three, with Price recording three aces in the run. Norwich cut the margin to 11-8, but after a sideout sophomore Brooke Beaudet (Gilford, N.H.) served five straight points to grow the lead to 17-8.
- The Panthers still led by nine, 24-15, before a late Norwich run made the final score look closer than it was.
Inside the Numbers (Norwich):
- Norklun led the way with ten kills and three blocks, with Bowers and Shaffer adding eight apiece.
- Bowers dug up 18 Cadets' attacks, with A. Flanagan adding 15 digs.
- Beaudet (four), Price (three) and A. Flanagan (two) combined for nine PSU service aces, with Price notching 34 assists.
- The Panthers head to Regis on Thursday (Sept. 19) for a 6:00 p.m. non-conference game.
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