Panthers overcome 0-2 deficit in opener, also sweep St. Joseph's
NEWPORT, R.I. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team rallied from an 0-2 deficit to top Salve Regina University in five sets (22-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-18, 15-12), then knocked off St. Joseph's College – Long Island, 3-0 (26-24, 25-15, 26-24), to win a pair of non-conference matches at Rodgers Recreation Center on Saturday.
PSU dropped a pair of tight sets against Salve and trailed 23-22 in the third, but a Seahawks service error and back-to-back kills from senior Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) sparked the comeback. The Panthers led throughout the fourth set, then scored the first six points of the deciding set on the way to the win.
In the second match of the day, Plymouth State needed extra points to sneak past St. Joseph's in the first set before cruising to a convincing win in set two. The Panthers trailed by four midway through set three, but scored two straight to break a 22-22 tie late. The Golden Eagles knotted the game at 24-24, but a pair of PSU kills wrapped up the sweep.
Plymouth State moves to 14-1 on the season. Salve Regina, which knocked off SJC by a 3-0 score in the day's third match, goes to 4-8, while the Golden Eagles drop to 1-8.
Plymouth State 3, Salve Regina 2
Plymouth State 3, SJC-LI 0
Plymouth State (14-1)
Salve Regina (4-8)
How it Happened (Salve Regina):
- The opening set went back-and-forth until the Seahawks used a 10-1 spurt to grab a 19-9 lead. PSU battled back, though, pulling to within 21-20 before the hosts held on for a 25-22 win.
- Salve Regina got off to a quick lead in set two, but again the Panthers fought back. PSU evened the game at 18-18 after consecutive kills from junior Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.), and the game was tied at 21-21 and 23-23 before the home team picked up the final two points for the narrow win.
- The roles reversed in the third set, with PSU holding a slight advantage early. The Seahawks climbed back, pulling ahead 23-22, but a missed serve and two kills from Bowers gave the Panthers a 25-23 win.
- Plymouth State built an early advantage in set four, then held the lead throughout on the way to a 25-18 win to force a fifth set.
- It was all PSU in the early going as a slew of SRU errors helped the Panthers build a 6-0 lead. Sophomore Alexa Price (Moultonborough, N.H.) made it 12-7 with a key block, but Salve ran off three straight to cut the deficit to just two points. Sophomore Maria Wimpey (Concord, N.H.) ended the run with a kill and Shaffer put the game away with a kill of her own.
Inside the Numbers (Salve Regina):
- Shaffer pounded down a career-high 18 kills, with Bowers adding 13 kills and 13 digs.
- Price handed out 45 assists and chipped in two aces and 12 digs, while senior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) led all players with 27 digs.
- PSU held the Seahawks to an .008 attack percentage over the final three sets, and limited Salve Regina to just two kills in the fifth set.
How it Happened (SJC-LI):
- PSU trailed by two, 16-14, midway through the opening set, but jumped in front following an ace from Bowers. The game was knotted at 21-21, 22-22, 23-23 and 24-24 before a Golden Eagles' error and Flanagan's ace wrapped up the 26-24 win.
- The Panthers held a slight, 14-12 lead in set two before taking control. Plymouth State used an 8-2 run in the final third of the set to cruise to a 25-15 win.
- St. Joseph's maintained the lead through the middle of set three, before the Panthers went in front after a four-point run, 17-16. The Golden Eagles responded, building a 22-21 lead and fought off three match points to tie the game at 24 before kills from Flanagan and Wimpey closed out the 26-24 win.
Inside the Numbers (SJC-LI):
- PSU smashed at least 14 kills in each set, while hitting .344 and .448 in the first two. The Panthers finished with a .282 attack percentage for the match.
- Shaffer and Bowers again led the offense. Shaffer finished with 14 kills and hit .440, while Bowers added ten with a .500 attack percentage.
- Price posted 33 assists and Flanagan added a team-best eight digs.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"Being down two sets and winning the next three against Salve Regina was a great testament of our tenacity," said head coach Joan Forge.
- PSU visits St. Joseph's of Maine on Tuesday (Sept. 24) for a 6:00 p.m. game.
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