Middlebury won its fourth NESCAC Championship with a 3-0 (20, 17, 23) win at Connecticut College in the title game on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers capture their second championship in the past three years, with previous titles in ’97, ’98 and ’10. It was the ninth victory in the past 10 outings for the Panthers (22-6), who received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Camels had their 14 match winning streak snapped and fall to 24-3.
Megan Jarchow buried 19 kills and added five digs for the winning side. Julia Gibbs narrowly missed a triple-double with 13 digs, nine kills and nine assists, while Kathryn Haderlein dished out 27 assists to go with 13 digs en route to a double-double. Caitlin Barrett corralled a match-high 23 digs to lead the Panther defense.
Connecticut College’s Caroline Martin finished with 11 kills and nine digs in the setback. Cailyn Straubel contributed seven kills and seven digs, Katie Ketcham finished with 31 assists and 10 digs, while Rachel Schroff added 22 digs and five kills for the hosts.
After taking a 25-20 decision in set one, the Panthers took control in the second set, using a Haderlein kill to open up a 20-11 advantage. Later on in the set, Amy Hart buried a kill from the left side to make it a 23-15 contest. Jarchow closed out the set with the game-winning kill.
The Camels battled back from a 7-3 deficit in the third set and enjoyed a 16-13 advantage after Martin supplied a service ace for the hosts. Jarchow responded for the Panthers with kills on the next two points and eventually put the visitors on top 20-18 when she joined forces with Piper Underbrink for a Panther block.
The Camels continued to respond and pulled even at 23 when Martin notched her 11th kill. The Panthers were able to score the next two points to close out the title.