PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Eliza Badeau (East Providence, R.I.) recorded a match-high 21 kills and four service aces Tuesday evening to lead third-seeded Plymouth State University to a three-game sweep (30-25, 30-20, 31-29) over sixth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston in the opening round of the Little East Conference Volleyball Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
PSU, now 20-10 overall, advances to the LEC semifinal round Friday at top-seeded Keene State College. The Panthers will meet second-seeded Western Connecticut State University (17-11) in the 4:00 p.m. match, with Keene State (20-11) hosting fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut (9-26) at 6:00 p.m. WestConn advanced Tuesday night with a 3-2 win over seventh-seeded UMass Dartmouth, and Eastern Conn. moved on with a 3-2 upset victory over fourth-seeded Rhode Island College.
The Panthers had little trouble in the first two games Tuesday night against UMB, but the Beacons would not go down easily. They battled the home team point-for-point in the third game and it was tied 29-all before PSU won two points to pull out the game and clinch the victory. UMB completes its season at 15-13 overall.
The 21 kills in the match equals the second-highest kill total for Badeau this season. She posted an impressive .500 attack percentage, making just four errors in 34 attempts. She was assisted on offense by senior Kirsten Willoughby (Plymouth, N.H.), who made eight kills on the evening, and sophomore setter Brianna Kleckner (Terryville, Conn.), who registered 40 assists.
Junior Regan Bowlen (Portsmouth, N.H.) made 12 digs to lead the Panther defense, and junior libero Sarah Spears (Meredith, N.H.) chipped in with 11 digs.
Sophomore Kate White (Plymouth, Mass.) led the visitors with 12 kills, while sophomore Natalie Crist (Santa Maria, Cal.) and senior Denise Hill (Sabana Seca, PR) added eight and seven kills, respectively. Freshman Emily Thompson (Wausau, Wis.) contributed a team-high 16 digs, and senior setter Randle Stock (Hopkinton, Mass.) finished with 30 assists and nine digs.
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