Volleyball Wins A Thriller Over Plymouth State

Volleyball Wins A Thriller Over Plymouth State

PLYMOUTH, Mass. – Despite an error filled affair by volleyball and Plymouth State University, the two teams played perhaps the match of the season so-far as they went the distance in every set but two.  However, a late push in the fourth and fifth sets earned the Beacons a 3-2 victory over the host Panthers Tuesday evening in Foley Gymnasium.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 3, Plymouth State University 2

UMass Boston (12-1, 3-0 Little East Conference)
Plymouth State University (9-6, 2-1 Little East Conference)

HOW IT HAPPENED

After suffering a very difficult 32-30 loss in the first set, the Beacons rallied in the second set to take 25-18 win to even the score at 1-1.  From there Tuesday's conference match, hit a new level of intensity, as the two squads battled back-and-forth for every point.  UMass Boston could have taken a 2-1 lead, but failed to put away their longtime rivals, with the Panthers earning 28-26 win.  In the fourth, Plymouth State were moments away from walking away with the victory, but just like UMB, they were unable to put away the set.  The Beacons would edge Plymouth State to earn a 28-26 win to force a fifth set.

From the opening serving in the fifth, the Beacons dominated the final frame, as they looked to play spoiler.  However, what had become the trend of the night, the Beacons failed to close out the match, which allowed Plymouth State to claw their way back.

Before anyone knew it Plymouth State made what was a huge deficit a mere two-point difference.  The Panthers refused to go down without a fight, but with a kill by Colleen Koen (Centerville, Mass.), UMass Boston slipped past the Panthers with a 15-12 decision and the match.

Koen was an absolute force in Tuesday's win, as the senior hitter scored a career-high 27 kills and .537.  Also having a career night was Christina Elliott (Camas, Wash.) who had 34 assists.  Eileen Shi (San Francisco, Calif.) posted an impressive double-double of 17 kills and 19 digs.  Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) finished one dig away from tying her program record, as the senior and three-time conference player of the week, finished with 41 digs.

As a team, the Beacons hit a solid .321 despite the close affair with the Beacons.  What nearly proved to be the downfall of UMass Boston was their 13 service errors, and 11 receiving errors, both of which were season-highs.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Koen's 27 kills were two short of tying the single match program record by now UMass Boston Hall of Famer Kate White '09
  • Tuesday's win marked the Beacons first-ever five set victory over the Panthers
  • The only other time UMass and Plymouth State went to five sets was in 2012, with the Panthers earning the victory
  • The win marked the 10th all-time for the Beacons over Plymouth State University
  • Volleyball entered the match ranked 30th in the country on the most recent AVCA Coaches Poll.  It was the Beacons first national ranking since the 2013 season.

WHO'S NEXT

The Beacons will travel to Wellesley College on Friday for a 6 p.m. match.