Volleyball Tallies a Perfect 3-0 Weekend at Smith Invitational

Becca Raffel posted 14 kills and a pair of service aces in Friday's victory.
Becca Raffel posted 14 kills and a pair of service aces in Friday's victory.

The Middlebury volleyball team posted a 3-0 record and didn’t surrender a set during a trio of matches at the Smith Invitational. During Friday’s action, the Panthers defeated Manhattanville 3-0, and followed that up with a pair of 3-0 triumphs on Saturday over Ursinus and Smith.

In Friday’s win over the Valiants, Middlebury was victorious by scores of 25-10, 25-15 and 25-21. Sophomore Becca Raffel (Palo Alto, Calif.) paced the attack with 14 kills and a pair of service aces. Sophomore Eliana Schaefer (Bethesda, Md.) added nine kills, while junior Melanie English (Montgomery Village, Md.) hit a team-best .538 hitting percentage with seven kills on just 13 attempts and no errors. Junior Hannah Blackburn (Chapel Hill, N.C.) dished out 38 assists and posted a team-high four service aces.

Defensively, sophomore Emily Kolodka (Verona, N.J.) led a balanced Panther effort with 12 digs, junior Charlotte Devine (Charlottesville, Va.) added nine, while Raffel along with sophomore Jen Ayer (Sudbury, Mass.) each chipped in with eight. English ended the match with a block solo and a team-best four block assists.

For Manhattanville, Alissa Primavera led the Valiants with six kills, while Meagan Dattoma and Allison Regan both had five. Megan Quinabo had 15 assists and Christina Nardi led the defense with 14 digs.

During Saturday’s pair of victories, the Panthers topped Ursinus by scores of 25-9, 25-11, 25-7 before defeating the host school via set tallies of 25-16, 25-12 and 25-18.

Middlebury dominated Ursinus in their opening match of the day, controlling the match from start to finish. Raffel paced the squad with seven kills, English added six, while Devine earned five. Devine added five service aces, while Blackburn dished out 19 assists. Defensively, Kolodka had 13 digs, Schaefer picked up seven, while Raffel added six.

In their second contest against Smith, the Panthers were led by 13 kills from Raffel and eight from junior Gabi Rosenfeld (Hermosa Beach, Calif.), who had no hitting errors. Ayer earned a team-high 17 digs, while Blackburn had 11. English finished with 1.5 blocks, Blackburn had 32 assists, while Devine picked up three service aces.

• Volleyball record: 3-0
• Up next: 9/15 at Union – 7:00 p.m., 9/18 vs. Bowdoin – 8:00 p.m., 9/19 vs. Cortland State – 1:30 p.m., 9/19 vs. Colby-Sawyer – 5:30 p.m.