BOSTON, Mass. – With four players finishing in double-figures in kills, and with a combined team hitting percentage of .329,volleyball earned a 3-1 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University Tuesday evening in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
UMass Boston 3, Plymouth State University 1
UMass Boston (5-10, 2-1 Little East Conference)
Plymouth State University (13-5, 1-2 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Freshman Eileen Shi (San Francisco, Calif.) led the way for the Beacons as she threw down 17 kills and posted a .433 hitting percentage. She also finished with 11 digs, to record her sixth double-double of the season.
For all four sets, the two teams battled for control of the scoreboard, as they were tied a combined 24 times, while they exchanged control of the lead 13 times.
In the opening frame, the Beacons would claim a 25-21 win, thanks to a kill by Shi that put the set away. UMass would then extend their lead to 2-0 with a convincing 25-18 win in the second, which saw Shi and Haley Diedrick (Canton, Mich.) combine for nine kills respectively.
The third set would be a back-and-forth battle from the opening serve, and would go the distance. Clair Spoyer would lead the Panthers with her four kills, and with an ace by Alisha Flanagan, Plymouth State cut the Beacons lead in half with a 28-26 win.
The fourth set was another close match between two of the top teams in the Little East. UMass Boston would keep their distance from the Panthers, but in the later part of the frame, the Panthers came clawing back and cut the deficit to three (22-19).
However, with a kill by Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) and an ace by Macayla Chianco (Clearwater, Fla.) the Beacons moved into match point (24-20). Plymouth State did rattle off two more points, but it was not enough, as the Beacons sealed the victory on another kill by Murphy.
Murphy finished tied for second on the team alongside Diedrick as the two hitters each recorded 12 kills. Senior Bri Sousa (Swansea, Mass.) had one of her best performances of the season, as the middle hitter threw down 10 kills and finished with a team-high .471 hitting percentage.
Setter Pepper Baker (Tallahassee, Fla.) put together a career performance, as she finished with 51 assists, which was just two short of tying the single match four set record for assists. Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) led the back row with 24 of the team's 62 digs.
Despite the tremendous offensive numbers, the Beacons had perhaps their toughest showing at the base line, as they recorded a season-high 19 service errors.
For the Panthers, Dani Tabor led the match with 18 kills, with Sporer finishing second on the team with 10 kills. As a team the Panthers hit just .177 on the night, with Tabor finishing with a match-best .485 hitting percentage. Kirsten Perrotta tallied 38 of the team's 41 assists, and Brenna Peruch had 22 digs to lead the Panthers defensive effort.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win the Beacons move into the top-4 in the Little East Conference with their 2-1 record
- The win improves the Beacons all-time record to 9-13 against Plymouth State
- The victory marked the third-straight win for UMass over the Panthers
- Tuesday's match marked the first time this season that four Beacons recorded 10 or more kills in a match
- It also marked the first time this season that four players hit .320 or better
- The 51 assists by Baker was the most in a four-set match for the junior setter
UMass Boston will travel the University of Southern Maine next Tuesday for a 7 p.m. conference match.