Western volleyball opens LEC season with 3-0 win over Plymouth State
DANBURY, CT (Sept. 15) —
The Western Connecticut State University volleyball team opened play in the Little East Conference with a 3-0 win over Plymouth State Saturday afternoon at Western’s Feldman Arena.
The scoring remained close early in game one until Plymouth State broke an 11-11 tie with a run of three points for a 14-11 lead. The Panthers extended that lead to 18-14, before Western went on a 6-2 run behind the hitting of senior Paxton Thornton (Sharon, CT) and junior Melanie Lombardi (Danbury, CT) to tie the score at 20. A kill by sophomore Nina Wojtkiewicz (Griswold, CT) pushed the scoring to game-point, but when the Colonials’ next serve sailed long, the gamed headed to overtime. After the teams traded points, Western took the game’s final two points for a 27-25 win.
After another tightly contested opening to game two, Western broke another 11-11 tie, going on an 8-0 run to open a seemingly commanding lead at 19-11. Plymouth State senior Casey Stoodley (Salem, NH) found her hitting rhythm however, and the Panthers fought back to even the score at 23-23. With Western up 24-23, another Stoodley kill pushed game two into overtime, but a Western side-out and a service ace by junior Rachel Volpe (Southington, CT) gave the Colonials a 2-0 lead in the match.
In game three, Western jumped out to an early 6-3 lead and maintained that lead until two kills and a block by Wojtkiewicz pushed the Colonial advantage to 22-14. The Panthers narrowed the margin, but Western closed out the match with a 25-18 game-three win.
For the match, Wojtkiewicz and Thorton each recorded 11 kills for Western, followed by Lombardi with nine. Sophomore Jennifer Hogan (Franklin Square, NY) handed out 33 assists to lead the Colonials, while Thornton also led in digs with nine.
Statistical leaders for Plymouth State were Stoodley with 23 kills and 15 digs, freshman Kirsten Perrotta (Hudson, NH) with 40 assists, and junior Cassie Pelton (Brookline, NH) with 21 digs.
With the win, Western now stands at 4-5 on the season and opens at 1-0 in the LEC. Plymouth State falls to 2-7, 0-1 in the LEC. The Colonials continue play on Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena with a 4:00pm non-conference matchup with Lasell College.
Western - 27 26 25 - 3
Plymouth St. - 25 24 18 - 0