Volleyball Dispatched in Tri-Match by Plymouth State and Eastern Connecticut

Volleyball Dispatched in Tri-Match by Plymouth State and Eastern Connecticut

Willimantic, CT --- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team clinched a first-round home match in the Little East Conference playoffs for the second time in three seasons with a 25-17, 25-14, 25-16 sweep of Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. 

Eastern (14-13, 4-2 Little East) ended an overall three-match losing streak with only its second victory over Plymouth State (12-16, 2-3 Little East)  in the last seven meetings. It was the Warriors' second sweep of Plymouth in their last two meetings at Geissler Gym. 

Eastern snapped the four-match winning streak of Plymouth, which rebounded to sweep WPI (10-18) in a non-conference match. The Warriors ended their home regular season with a 9-4 record after sweeping WPI in the final match. The match was the first between the programs since 1982 and improved the Warriors to 7-0 all-time against WPI. The Engineers, which feature 12 freshmen and sophomores on their 14-player roster, have lost ten of their last 11 since opening the season 9-8. 

Against Plymouth, the Warriors never trailed in the first set after the opening three points, moving out to a nearly 6-2 lead and held a lead of no less than three the rest of the way. Eastern ripped off five straight points to erase a 9-6 deficit in the second set and ended the second set with a run of seven straight points. The Warriors spotted Plymouth the first point of the third set before scoring five straight and never trailing thereafter. 

After winning the opening set by eight points against WPI, Plymouth and the Engineers battled the rest of the way, with Plymouth taking the second and third sets by a combined total of six points. There were six ties and two lead changes in the second set. WPI battled back from an early deficit to take its first lead, 15-14, , but Plymouth broke the final tie (17-17) with three straight points and never trailed. WPI led as late as 15-14 in the third set but Plymouth took the lead for good at 18-17 and held on. 

Melissa Daigle (Norfolk, MA) posted a double-double for WPI with 11 kills and 10 digs. Sam Bircsak (Acton, MA) tossed in seven digs and pair of blocks while Caroline Meyer (Easton, MA) and Emma Sheils (Shirley, MA) teamed up for 31 assists and Kelly Rathje (Scituate, MA) and Cassandra Tomerlin (La Quinta, CA) combined for 22 digs.             

The Warriors eased through the first two sets but the Engineers cut an eight-point deficit to three (19-15) before Eastern's run of four straight points opened up a seven-point lead.

Katie Hurlock (Burlington, CT) paced the WPI offensive attack with six kills while Meyer and Sheils ended with eight and seven assists respectively. Rathje amassed eight digs and Adrienne Weishaar (Chester, NH) and Bircsak each swatted a pair of blocks.          

WPI returns to action on Tuesday, hosting NEWMAC rival Clark in a rematch of the 2014 City Championship (won by WPI) at 7pm

Majority of Release Courtesy of Eastern Connecticut Sports Information