The Middlebury women’s volleyball team dropped its first match of the season, falling 3-1 (22, 25-11, 21, 22) to Wesleyan (5-9, 1-3). The Panthers (10-1, 2-1), who opened the season with a school-record 10 straight victories, return to action at Trinity on Saturday against the Bantams and Keene State.
Middlebury got a match-high 19 kills from senior Megan Jarchow, who hit at a solid .378 efficiency. Senior Amy Hart was good for 14 kills with six service aces. Sophomore Kathryn Haderlein put up 37 assists, while Jarchow and Hart both tied for match-high honors in digs with 10 apiece.
Kim Farris paced Wesleyan with 18 kills with a .325 efficiency on the night. Centofanti added 10 kills for the Cardinals, Abby Southam chipped in with seven, while Claire Larson collected 39 assists.
Though Middlebury had won eight of the last 10 meetings of the teams, Wesleyan and Middlebury came into the match tied in the all-time series, 11-11. Wesleyan took the opening set 25-22, winning the final four points after trailing 22-21. Centofanti had a pair of kills down the stretch including the clincher.
Middlebury rolled to a 25-11 victory in the second set as Hart ran off five straight service points early to spot the Panthers a 6-1 lead. The margin grew to 17-7 and the Panthers coasted in from there.
The third set also came down to the final stage as Wesleyan took a 22-20 lead, then got three of the final four points for the 25-21 win.
Wesleyan seemed poised to make it a quick fourth set and wrap up the match, holding a 19-12 lead, but the Panthers went on a 7-2 run to narrow the difference to 21-19. Farris then got the next three Wesleyan points with a pair of kills and an ace as the Cardinals held a 24-21 margin. Middlebury staved off one match point but a smart hit on the second ball by Larson for a kill made it a 25-22 Wesleyan win in the fourth set.