KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College volleyball team won three consecutive sets after dropping the first to run away from Plymouth State University, 3-1 (24-26, 25-19, 25-14, 25-12) in LEC action on Tuesday night at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 13-4, 2-0 LEC
- Plymouth State: 7-9, 0-3 LEC
How It Happened
Keene State got 14 kills, seven digs and three assists from Megan Palmer. Niamh Dodd and Kelly Hunt also had double-digit kills (10). Kait West had a career-high 22 digs, while Bailey Wilson had 41 assists, 17 digs, four kills and three service aces. The Owls dominated play at the net, as they had one block and 10 block assists. PSU had two blocks. The Panthers got ten kills and 17 digs from Alexis Bowers.
Plymouth led for the vast majority of the opening set, taking their first frame in conference play this season. The Panthers scored five of the first six, capped by an ace from Alisha Flanagan. KSC rallied, getting within 8-7 on two kills from Dodd and one from Palmer. However, PSU had an answer each time in the set, eventually going ahead 17-13 on an ace from Hannah Chartier. Out of a timeout, the Owls got within 23-22 on a Plymouth attack error and tied the set at 24 on an ace from Severino, but two straight points for the Panthers gave KSC their first set loss at home.
The second set was a different story, as the Owls began to take control of the match. The teams split the first eight points, but KSC then got three consecutive aces from Riley Bunker to go up 8-4. The Panthers scored six of the next eight to tie the match (10-10), three coming on Owl attack errors. Keene State responded quickly, though, as a pair of kills from Hunt and one from Wilson helped open an 18-12 advantage. The Owls were never seriously threatened again, as three kills from Palmer over the remainder of the set made it 23-16. A point by Mathieu and a PSU service error evened the match.
KSC dominated the final two sets to seal the victory. In the third, the Owls blasted out of the gates, scoring 13 of the first 14 points, including seven straight to open the set. Palmer had three kills and Dodd two during the surge. Plymouth attempted to make a game of it, as they scored seven of eight points to get within six (14-8), but KSC had little trouble putting the set away. Kills by Elizabeth Johnson and Hunt made it 17-9, and the lead was later extended to 22-12 on a PSU attack error. Another point from Johnson gave KSC the set and a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Owls never trailed in the fourth set while ending the match in commanding fashion. Two kills by Dodd helped the Owls out to a 5-1 lead, and it was later extended to 10-5 on a Palmer kill. The Panthers drew within four at 14-10, but another massive burst from KSC all but ended things. Three kills from Ali McLoughlin speared a stretch where KSC scored 10 of 11 points to open a 24-11 lead. A PSU attack error gave the Owls the match and a 2-0 conference record.
- KSC's 14 aces were one off a season-high of 15 set on September 8 against New England College.
- The Owls hit .226 in the match and Plymouth .088. In the decisive third and fourth sets, Keene State hit .300 and .353, respectively.
- Keene State now leads the all-time series 20-16.
- Keene State has a tri-match at the University of Southern Maine on Saturday, September 29. The Owls will take on the host Huskies in conference action at 12:00 pm before facing the Sage Colleges at 2:00 pm.
- Plymouth State has a conference bye this weekend, as they will travel to Smith College for a tri-match with Wheaton College (2:00 pm) and the Pioneers (4:00 pm) on the same day.