PLATTSBURGH — Continuing her recent stretch of dominant performances, sophomore Laura Diehl floored a team-high 16 kills on just 26 attack attempts, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Plattsburgh State volleyball team past a talented Middlebury squad on Tuesday night at Memorial Hall.
The Cardinals fell in three sets (26-24, 25-15, 25-22) during their battle against the NESCAC institution. With the setback, Plattsburgh State slips to 6-10 while the Panthers still possess a perfect record at 10-0.
Playing in its penultimate home bout of 2013, the Cardinals came out and kept it close with the Panthers in the first set. After falling behind 3-1 in the early stages of the frame, terminations from Diehl and Rosi Cummings produced the second of 18 deadlocks during the set.
Moments after consecutive kills from Diehl helped the Cardinals obtain an 18-17 lead, the Panthers turned to their powerful brigade of outside hitters to take control of the set. Amy Hart hammered down four consecutive kills for Middlebury before another pair of terminations from Diehl brought the Cardinals to within 21-20.
After surrendering another two points to the Panthers, Plattsburgh State reeled off three straight points, culminating with a solo block from sophomore Jeanette Braun to knot the score at 23. From there, Hart transferred control of the Middlebury offense to Megan Jarchow who smashed three kills to give the Panthers an extra-point win in the first set.
Determined to tie the match at one set each, the Cardinals began the second frame on a 5-1 run thanks in large part to four kills between Diehl and junior Maggie Schrantz.
The Cardinals were able to maintain a lead of four points, but upon earning a 9-5 advantage, Middlebury’s offense began to fire on all cylinders.
Middlebury amassed four of their nine service aces during the course of a 15-3 run that allowed the visitors to grab a 20-12 lead. The Cardinals could only muster up three additional points in the second frame and found themselves looking up at a 2-0 match score.