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Plant's offense clicks in sweep of Chamberlain

Plant volleyball coach Laura Figueredo has said it all along: If the Panthers can run their attack offense successfully, they shouldn't have too much difficulty defeating Chamberlain.

Wednesday, the Panthers followed suit and swept the Chiefs 15-7, 15-13. Both teams picked up a win when Hillsborough never showed up for the tri-match and defaulted.

"We played our game and ran our offense," said Figueredo, whose team remains undefeated at 8-0. "We dictated the pace and the momentum of the first game, and in the second game we got overconfident, maybe we laxed off a little bit."

The Panthers got off to a quick start in both games, taking a 5-0 lead in the first and a 6-0 advantage in the second. But unlike the first game when the Chiefs never really threatened to rally, they came back in the second game to tie it at 10. Lin Little had four service points, including two aces, to put the Chiefs back into the match.

After the Panthers went ahead 11-10, the Chiefs lost five service points, and by that time the Panthers had gone up 13-10. The Chiefs then closed to within a point at 13-14, but lost their service point on a net ball.

"We had to play catch-up all the time and that was our biggest problem," said Little.

"We needed one great play to keep us going on, and that's what did us in," said Susan Hawks, who had three kills and 2{ blocks. "And our service reception was atrocious."

"This is, unfortunately, kind of characteristic of this team. They usually start slowly, but they come back strong," said Chiefs coach Gregg Latter after his team suffered its first regular-season defeat against seven wins. "We haven't faced anybody with the talent and the passing and the quick attacks that Plant had. We had to fight for every single point we had."

Amber Overby, a scrappy, 5-foot-2 setter for the Chiefs, kept busy with 17 assists and one ace. Rebecca Driscoll spiked five kills, and Beth Van Fleet added three kills and one dig.

The Panthers offense was provided by Bree Thatcher with three aces during 13 service points. Megan Flynn led the team with nine kills and Emily Leffers had eight.