Shaffer leads offense with 13 kills
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Junior Francie Shaffer (Frederick, Colo.) notched 13 kills and hit a sparkling .500, but Middlebury College snapped the Plymouth State University women's volleyball team's eight-match winning streak with a 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-20) win in non-conference action at Pepin Gymnasium Tuesday night.
The home Panthers roared out to an impressive win in the opening set, but Plymouth State rebounded with solid performances to drop close decisions in each of the next two. The loss breaks PSU's third winning streak of at least eight matches this season.
Plymouth State dips to 29-3 overall and will return to Little East Conference (LEC) action on Saturday (Nov. 2) in a match that will determine the top seed for next week's LEC Tournament. With a win at Eastern Connecticut, PSU will be the league's outright regular season champions for the first time in program history while earning the top seed for the tournament for just the second time. Middlebury improves to 12-9.
Plymouth State 0, Middlebury 3
Plymouth State (29-3)
How it Happened:
- Middlebury used a five-point run to take a 19-9 lead in the opening set and PSU was unable to recover as the hosts took the set by a 25-13 score.
- The second set stayed close throughout. PSU held a 16-12 lead midway through, but Middlebury rallied to pull ahead. Plymouth State fought off set point (24-23) on a kill by Shaffer, but the home team scored the next two points to eke out the win.
- Plymouth State trailed by just one, 13-12, before the hosts used a 8-1 spurt to pull away in set three. PSU scored four of five to cut the margin to 22-17 and later pulled to within 24-20, before the hosts closed out the match with a kill.
Inside the Numbers:
- Shaffer led the Panthers with her 13 kills, while junior Carabeth Norklun (Goffstown, N.H.) added eight kills and hit .375.
- Seniors Alisha Flanagan (Milton, N.H.) and Lex Bowers (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) pace the defense with 15 and 12 digs, respectively, while sophomores Alexa Price (Moultonborough, N.H.) and Maria Wimpey (Concord, N.H.) combined for 30 assists.
- PSU struggled offensively in the first set, hitting -.033 to Middlebury's .409, but rebounded to hit .183 the rest of the way.
- Plymouth State looks to secure the outright regular season title and top spot for next week's Little East Conference Tournament at Eastern Connecticut on Saturday (Nov. 2, 12:00 p.m.). With a loss the Panthers will be the third seed. PSU will also face St. Joseph's of Long Island at 2:00 p.m.
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