Balanced attack leads Panthers to pair of wins
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University relied on a balanced offensive attack to top Worcester State University in consecutive matches, 3-1 (25-10, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21) and 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-13), in a rare non-conference double header at Foley Gymnasium on Saturday.
Senior Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) and freshman Emilee Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) finished with 15 and 12 kills, respectively in the four-set win, while juniors Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) and Carabeth Norklun (Goffstown, N.H.) combined for 19 kills in the day's second match.
Plymouth State improves to 21-1 and has now won 12 straight matches, while the Lancers fall to 5-12.
Plymouth State 3, Worcester State 1
Plymouth State 3, Worcester State 0
Plymouth State (21-1)
Worcester State (5-12)
How it Happened (Match One):
- The opening set was all Plymouth State as the Panthers opened up an early 8-2 lead and never looked back. Kills from Bowers and Flanagan pushed the lead to 19-6 and PSU coasted to a 25-10 win in the opening set.
- The second set was a different story as the Lancers pulled ahead by a 14-6 margin after back-to-back aces from senior Stephanie Chapin (Hampden, Mass.). PSU rallied to knot the game at 17-17, but Worcester State went right back in front after an ace and back-to-back kills from sophomores Leelle Tyler (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Natalie Gillis (Ashland, Mass.) and the Lancers held on for 25-22 win.
- The Panthers held a four-point lead for most of the third set before consecutive Lancers' errors and a Flanagan kill made it 23-16 and PSU earned a 25-19 win.
- PSU maintained a slight advantage in set four, but back-to-back kills from Bowers made it a three-point lead, 16-13, to force a Worcester State timeout. The teams traded points from there, with PSU earning a 25-21 win.
Inside the Numbers (Match One):
- Bowers finished with 15 kills and 16 digs, while Flanagan added 12 kills and three blocks.
- Shaffer chipped in with 10 kills, while sophomore Maria Wimpey (Concord, N.H.0 posted 46 assists and 12 digs.
- Senior Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) notched a game-high 18 digs.
- Gillis led all players with 19 kills and added 14 digs for the Lancers, while senior Katie Gagnon (Hampden, Mass.) recorded 32 assists and 10 digs.
How it Happened (Match Two):
- A. Flanagan ripped off a pair of aces as the Panthers took an 11-5 lead in set one. PSU extended the lead to 20-9 following Wimpey's ace and Plymouth rolled to a 25-14 decision.
- Worcester State jumped out to a 5-0 lead in set two, but the Panthers clawed back to tie the set at 6-6. A late service run snapped a 15-all tie, sparked by a block from E. Flanagan and sophomore Jaia Woodland (Charlottesville, Va.), as PSU went ahead 17-15 and the Panthers' wouldn't trail again.
- Sophomore Hannah Douglas (Rochester, N.H.) served out the final four points for a 25-18 win.
- The teams went back-and-forth in the early stages of the third set, before a 7-1 spurt gave the Panthers a 16-8 advantage and the home team would roll to a 25-13 win to wrap up the sweep.
Inside the Numbers (Match Two):
- Shaffer notched a match-high 11 kills and hit .364, while Norklun chipped in with eight kills and a .700 attack percentage.
- A. Flanagan posted a match-best 14 digs, as Wimpey added 30 assists and five kills.
- Gillis led the Lancers with seven kills.
- PSU racked up 12 aces, including four apiece from A. Flanagan and sophomore Brooke Beaudet (Gilford, N.H.).
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"We are working with a little adversity right now because our starting setter was not in, but Maria [Wimpey] is doing a fantastic job," said head coach Joan Forge. "It's great, I love adversity, the team loves it – it's a challenge for us, so we're doing the best we can and I think we're doing a pretty good job."
- Plymouth State hits the road to face UMass Boston in a Little East Conference game on Wednesday (Oct. 9) with first serve set for 7:00 p.m.
– 30 –