PSU Women’s Volleyball tops UMass Dartmouth in LEC opener

PSU Women’s Volleyball tops UMass Dartmouth in LEC opener

Norklun, Panthers overpower Husson in day's final match 

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's volleyball team picked up two more victories, topping the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the Little East Conference (LEC) opener, 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-17, 25-17), before dispatching Husson University, 3-1 (25-18, 25-16, 23-25, 25-16) in the nightcap to sweep a tri-match at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday.

            The Panthers rebounded from a slow start against UMass Dartmouth to earn decisive wins in the third and fourth sets, then Norklun dominated play with 15 kills and a .778 attack percentage in the nightcap against Husson. The Corsairs topped Husson in the day's middle match.

            Plymouth State hosted its Lace Up for Pediatric Cancer game, with the team selling goods and holding a raffle to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth.

            PSU improves to 18-1 on the year and 1-0 in the LEC, while UMass Dartmouth goes to 4-8 and 0-2 in league play. Husson ends the day with a 4-14 mark.


            The Basics:

            Plymouth State 3, UMass Dartmouth 1

            Plymouth State 3, Husson 1


            Plymouth State (18-1, 1-0 LEC)

            UMass Dartmouth (4-8, 0-2 LEC

            Husson (4-14)


            How it Happened (UMass Dartmouth):

  • An ace and back-to-back PSU errors gave the Corsairs a 12-5 advantage in the opening set, but kills from junior Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.), senior Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) and freshman Emilee Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) sparked a 7-1 run as the Panthers evened things at 16-16.
  • Plymouth State took advantage of three UMD attacking errors to build a 22-19 lead and Shaffer's kill wrapped up the first set, 25-21.
  • The Panthers held a 17-15 lead in the second set, before UMass Dartmouth rallied with five straight points, including an ace from senior Meghan Mullinax (Lake Balboa, Calif.), to pull in front.
  • A kill from sophomore Alexa Price (Moultonborough, N.H.) momentarily stopped the surge, but the visitors came back with a 5-1 spurt to secure a 25-19 win and square the match at one.
  • The Corsairs held a 9-7 lead early in the pivotal third set before senior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) ran off seven straight points from the service line and PSU wouldn't trail again. Shaffer caught fire with four kills and a service error gave Plymouth State a 25-17 win.
  • PSU jumped out to an early lead in set four as consecutive kills from junior Carabeth Norklun (Goffstown, N.H.) staked the hosts to a 10-3 advantage.
  • The Panthers maintained the lead, with Bowers' kill giving PSU match point (24-13). UMD cut into the margin with a four-point run, but Shaffer's final kill wrapped up the 25-17 decision.


            Inside the Numbers (UMass Dartmouth):

  • Shaffer led the way with 15 kills and a .313 attack percentage, while Bowers added 12 kills and 18 digs.
  • A. Flanagan led all players with 19 digs while chipping in with a pair of aces, as E. Flanagan tallied seven kills against just one error (.316) and added two blocks.
  • Price handed out 38 assists and added five kills and eight digs.
  • Senior Nicole Silverman (Chelmsford, Mass.) led the Corsairs with nine kills, as classmate Jillian Sykora (Waterford, Conn.) notched 17 digs and three aces.
  • The Panthers hit .229 as a team, while holding UMD to .073.


            How it Happened (Husson):

  • Three Norklun kills helped PSU to an early, 11-5 lead in the opening set. She added a pair of aces as the lead grew to 18-6 and the Panthers rolled to a 25-18 win.
  • Plymouth State used a 9-2 run to build a 23-14 lead in the second set, with Norklun accounting for an incredible nine kills, as PSU took set two, 25-16.
  • Not to be deterred, Husson bounced back with a strong showing in the third set. The Eagles used a pair of long service runs from sophomore Serena Laro (Peabody, Mass.) and freshman Cat Torres (San Antonio, Texas) to build a 13-6 lead.
  • PSU rallied to knot the game at 23-23, but back-to-back errors afforded the visitors a 25-23 win.
  • A. Flanagan served eight straight points to lead the Panthers to a 10-5 lead following a slow start to set four. The lead ballooned to 17-10, forcing an Eagles' timeout, but PSU maintained control to earn the 25-16 win.


            Inside the Numbers (Husson):

  • Norklun was on fire, pounding down 15 kills in just three sets of action, including nine in the second set alone, while hitting an impressive .778. E. Flanagan added 11 kills (.318), with Shaffer chipping in with eight (.467).
  • Price recorded 37 assists, four digs and two aces while playing three sets, while A. Flanagan led the team with ten digs.
  • Senior Mary Grace Power (Bellerose Village, N.Y.) led Husson with 15 kills and a .333 attack percentage, as Torres and senior Hanna Hembrow (Milford, N.H.) notched 26 assists while sharing the setting duties.


            Straight From the Coach's Mouth:

            "Our play is elevating every match," said head coach Joan Forge. "We really have to be solid with our fundamentals and that will just take us to the end. With fundamentals and execution and cutting down on our errors, that's crucial as we go forward into October."


            Up Next:

  • All three teams are back in action on Wednesday (Oct. 2). Plymouth State heads to Southern Maine for a 7:00 p.m. LEC contest, while UMass Dartmouth hosts UMass Boston in conference play at 6:00 p.m. Husson hosts Colby for a 7:00 p.m., non-conference tilt.




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