Volleyball Posts a 2-1 Week

Hannah Blackburn was named to the all-tournament team.
Hannah Blackburn was named to the all-tournament team.

The Middlebury volleyball team posted a 2-1 week during a trio of matches last week. On Friday in a NESCAC match, Hamilton edged by the Panthers, 3-1. Middlebury responded with a pair of 3-0 victories Saturday over St. John Fisher and host Skidmore during the Skidmore Classic.

On Friday evening, the Panthers were defeated by the Continentals via set scores of 26-24, 25-23, 12-25 and 25-19.

In the opening set, Hamilton raced out to a 5-1 lead on a kill from Erin Donahue. Middlebury slowly chipped away at the lead, but the Continentals maintained a slim 14-11 advantage. Following a Middlebury timeout, the hosts responded with a quick 5-1 spurt finished by a kill from senior Piper Underbrink (Ocala, Fla.) and took the lead, 16-15. The lead seesawed back and forth between the two sides until the score was knotted at 24-24. The Continentals posted the final two points and took the opening set.

During set number two, the Panthers recorded five of the opening seven points. Hamilton responded with a quick 3-0 burst, tying the score at 5-5, including a service ace from Jessica Weston. Over the next few points, the lead changed hands numerous times. With the set tied at 11-11, Middlebury produced a quick 5-1 run for a 16-12 advantage.

However, the Continentals tallied eight of the next 12 points, securing a 20-18 lead capped on a kill from Margaret O'Brien. Both sides exchanged quick mini runs before Hamilton gained a one-point edge at 23-22. Kills by Weston and Erin Casey manufactured the final two tallies for a two sets to none edge.

In the third set, Middlebury eased out to leads of 5-1, 14-4 and 21-9 before finally taking the set by a 25-12 score. The Panthers swung for a .353 hitting percentage during the set (16-4-34), including six kills from senior Olivia Kolodka (Verona, N.J.).

During the final set, the Panthers maintained a 12-6 advantage on a kill from sophomore Charlotte Devine (Charlottesville, Va.). The visitors answered with an 11-0 run and took a 17-12 lead on a kill off the hand of Emma Lonadier. The Continentals used that momentum and took the set and the conference win.

O. Kolodka paced the offense with 13 kills, while rookie Emily Kolodka (Verona, N.J.) ended her night with 11. Sophomore Hannah Blackburn (Chapel Hill, N.C.) handed out 40 assists to go along with three service aces, while senior Lizzy Reed (Cazenovia, N.Y.) had a match-best 17 digs. E. Kolodka and Blackburn completed their double-doubles with 14 and 13 digs, respectively, while Underbrink had two block solos and a pair of block assists.

For the Continentals, Donahue led a trio in double figures with 12 kills. O'Brien added 11, while Lonadier chipped in with 10. Kyndal Burdin tallied a double-double with 41 assists and 10 digs, while Anna Brown recorded 14 digs.

On Saturday afternoon, the Panthers earned a 3-0 win by scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-15 over St. John Fisher, before topping the host Thoroughbreds by tallies of 25-15, 25-23 and 25-16. E. Kolodka and Blackburn were both named to the all-tournament team.

Against St. John Fisher, E. Kolodka and O. Kolodka led a balanced attack with nine kills apiece, while Underbrink added seven. Reed earned 17 digs to pace the defense, while Blackburn and E. Kolodka each had 10. Two block solos to go along with a pair of block assists were earned by O. Kolodka, while Blackburn dished out 27 assists.

E. Kolodka earned 13 kills with a .314 hitting percentage in the victory over Skidmore. Underbrink and rookie Becca Raffel (Palo Alto, Calif.) each had nine kills, with Underbrink hitting at a .353 clip. Blackburn earned 33 assist and three service aces in the match. Blackburn (13), E. Kolodka (11), Raffel (10) and O. Koloka (10) were the digs leaders.

• Volleyball record: 4-5
• Up next: 10/3 @ Amherst – 8:00, 10/4 @ Williams – 2:00