KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College volleyball team was in command throughout as they hit .303 in the first set and never looked back in a 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-17) win over Plymouth State University in the Little East Tournament Quarterfinals on Tuesday night at Spaulding Gym.
- Keene State: 21-9
- Plymouth State: 11-20
How It Happened
The Owls, the No. 3 seed in the conference, got 12 kills and 12 digs from Olivia Mathieu, while Megan Palmer also had 12 kills while adding nine digs and three aces. Riley Bunker recorded 15 more digs and three aces, and Bailey Wilson had 33 assists and 8 digs. KSC dominated most statistical categories, including having a 41-19 advantage in kills.
Plymouth scored the opening point of the match, but Keene State used four kills from Palmer and two from Niamh Dodd as part of a 10-2 run. The Owls never let up, as kills from Elizabeth Johnson, Mathieu, and Bunker, and an ace from Palmer made it 14-5. The closest the Panthers got was 15-9, and after that, KSC scored five of the next six for a 20-10 advantage. A kill from Palmer gave the Owls the 25-15 set win.
The second set proved to be more lopsided, as KSC hit .364 while limiting Plymouth to -.175 and single digit points. After leading 4-3 very early on, the Panthers only scored four more times in the rest of the frame and were outscored 22-4. Wilson served the Owls into four straight points, making it 12-5, and, later, Palmer served nine consecutive times, including a pair of aces, as KSC led 22-6. Johnson's ace and Mathieu's kill wrapped up the 25-8 set win for the Owls.
Ten consecutive Keene State points proved to be the deciding factor in the third. Early on, the teams mostly exchanged points before Plymouth went up 8-6. However, that was short lived, as the Owls put a quick end to any suspense. Kills from Dodd and Mathieu made it 8-8 before one from Johnson put KSC ahead. The run continued, as Mathieu and Dodd recorded points before Bunker served up three straight aces for a 16-8 lead. The closest the Panthers got after that was 17-12 before a kill from Mathieu, and a flurry of PSU attack errors helped KSC finish off the sweep.
- Bunker needs 16 more digs to reach 2000 for her career.
- Keene State has beaten Plymouth State four straight times, including 3-1 on September 25 at Spaulding Gym. KSC is 21-16 all-time against the Panthers.
- The Owls finish 10-2 at home this season, including nine sweeps, and are 20-3 in Keene the last two years.
- Keene State will travel to Willimantic, Conn., the home of top seeded Eastern Connecticut State University, to take on No. 2 seed UMass Boston in the Little East Semifinals on Friday, November 2 at 5:30 pm. UMB beat the Owls 3-1 on October 20 in Keene. The other semifinal will feature the host Warriors and Rhode Island College.
- Plymouth State sees their season come to a close. The Panthers went 2-10 on the road.