The Rhode Island College women’s volleyball team in their final tune up before the upcoming Little East Conference Tournament split their regular season finale, a doubleheader at Plymouth State University on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Anchorwomen lost the first game to eventual Little East Conference regular season champion Plymouth State, 3-1, but returned to winning form in the afternoon session, besting Worcester State, 3-1. The Anchorwomen end the regular season just 2-5 in Little East Conference play, good enough for sixth place in the standings as well as the sixth and final playoff spot in the Little East Conference Tournament.
In opening set the Panthers came out determined to eliminate any doubt that they weren’t the best volleyball team in the conference after downing nationally ranked UMass Boston earlier in the week. Plymouth State broke out with a 25-12 triumph in the first set, and continued to control the tempo taking the next set, 25-18. The Anchorwomen resiliently fought back in the third set with a 25-21 win to get the game back to within one set. However, the Panthers took control once again in the fourth set, closing the match out with a commanding 25-10 win. With the win, the Plymouth State claimed the top spot in the Little East Conference Tournament for the first time since 2005.
RIC freshman outside hitter Marina Stoermer led the way with a game-high 14 kills and sophomore outside hitter Amanda Cabral added nine of her own to pace the RIC attack. It could not compare to what the Panthers brought to the floor. Junior outside hitter Casey Stoodley led the Panthers with eight kills, while four of her teammates chipped in with five kills apiece.
In the second half of the double header, the Anchorwomen took on the Worcester State Lancers. RIC got themselves back on track and ready for the upcoming Little East Conference Tournament with a four set win. The Lancers took an emotional first set from the Anchorwomen 26-24. From there, RIC dished out an offensive charge to that they could not handle, taking the second set 25-18, the third set 25-22, and then the fourth set in not-messing-around fashion 25-10.
The season has yet to come to an end as the Anchorwomen inched their way into the sixth and final playoff berth in the upcoming Little East Conference Tournament. Their reward? A road trip to face third-seeded Western Connecticut State University on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The Colonials took care of business against the Anchorwomen last Tuesday, 3-1, at the Murray Center making them the favorites to prevail in the the win-or-go-home quarterfinal. If the Anchorwomen can pull off the upset, they will travel to Plymouth State for the Little East Conference semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4.