Oct. 25, 2011
BOSTON, Mass. – With three different players recording 10 or more kills and a team hitting percentage of .337 the visiting Panthers of Plymouth State University (20-9, 5-1 LEC) upset 18th ranked and Little East Conference favorite University of Massachusetts Boston (22-4, 5-1 LEC) by the final score of 3-0 (17-25, 20-25, 21-25) Tuesday evening in the Clark Athletic Center.
Tuesday’s loss marked the end of some impressive records for the Beacons, the first of which was their amazing home win-streak, which prior to Tuesday’s match stood at 35 consecutive victories dating back to September 27, 2008. It was also on that day, that the Beacons suffered their last Little East Conference loss in the form a 3-1 decision to Keene State College.
For Plymouth State, Tuesday’s win marked the first for the Panthers since 2007, when they defeated UMass by the final score of 3-0. With the loss, the Beacons fall into three-way tie with Plymouth and Keene State College for first place in the conference.
The Beacons offense struggled to find their usual rhythm in Tuesday’s match. Overall UMass finished the match with a .195 attack percentage and 33 kills on 82 attempts. Junior Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Cali.) was the only Beacon to record double-figures in kills with 10. Senior Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, Mass.) and sophomore Brooke Nemethy (Oviedo, Fl.) each finished second on the team with seven kills.
Plymouth State saw Casey Stoodley lead the team with 14 kills, followed by Allie Jones and Meghan Sullivan with 10 each. Sarah Cady tallied 36 assists on 81 attempts for the Panthers, while senior Cassy Hanneman (Denver, Col.) recorded 25 assists on 67 attempts for the Beacons.
Defensively both teams were strong at the net, with UMass scoring one solo block and 12 block-assists. Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) was at the forefront of that group as she recorded five block-assists. Thompson was responsible for the one solo stop and three block assists. Plymouth State managed 10 block assists, with Elissa Morin earning four assists.
At the end-line, Kayla Wilson (San Jose, Cali.) scored three of the Beacons five aces. Meghan Sullivan also tallied three aces to lead Plymouth State to their eight service aces on the night.
In total, both teams were tied on the scoreboard a combined 24 times and exchanged control of the lead 14 times respectively. The third set was truly the busies of the three, as UMass and Plymouth battled back-and-forth, but just like the two previous sets a late run by the Panthers gave them the crucial points to take the conference win.
Volleyball returns to action on Thursday when they host Keene State College at 6 p.m. in the Clark Athletic Center. Prior to the start of the match Hanneman and Rattigan will be honored as the team’s only senior members.