Volleyball Goes 2-2 at Union Invitational, Raffel Named to All-Tourney Team

Becca Raffel was named to the All-Tournament team.
Becca Raffel was named to the All-Tournament team.

The Middlebury volleyball team posted a 2-2 record last weekend at the Union Invitational. During Friday’s action, the Panthers defeated Oneonta State and Skidmore in three sets, but fell in a pair of three-set matches on Saturday to the host Dutchwomen and Susquehanna. For her efforts, junior Becca Raffel (Palo Alto, Calif.) was named to the all-tournament team. In four matches, she racked up 40 kills, 44 digs and two services aces.

On Friday in the season-opening victory over Oneonta State, senior Hannah Blackburn (Chapel Hill, N.C.) dished out a match-high 25 assists with 11 digs and four service aces to pace Middlebury. Raffel notched nine kills, while classmate Alice Roberts (Media, Pa.) and sophomore Isabel Sessions (Chicago, Ill.) each had seven with hitting percentages over .500. Sophomore Sarah Staver (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) chipped in with four block assists.

The Panthers scored the first seven points of the opening set against the Thoroughbreds en route to their second sweep of the night. Raffel led the attack with 12 kills and Sessions recorded seven. Sophomore Rose Gold (San Francisco, Calif.) finished with 11 assists and junior Eliana Schaefer (Bethesda, Md.) had 10, while junior Emily Kolodka (Verona, N.J.) tallied nine digs and served a pair of aces. Staver had another steady match at the net with a solo block and four block assists to go along with six kills and two service aces.

During Saturday’s action, the Dutchwomen scored the final two points in the opening set to grab a 1-0 lead and came away narrow wins in sets two and three for the victory. Raffel had a balanced match for the Panthers with 11 digs, eight kills and two block assists, while Kolodka recorded a match-high 18 digs and added a service ace. Schaefer contributed 16 assists and Gold dished out nine. Senior Melanie English (Montgomery Village, Md.) and Staver added six kills apiece for Middlebury.

Alyssa Bonesteel (15) and Emma Sprotbery (13) paced Union in kills, as both players reached double digits in kills, while Amanda Price finished with 36 assists.

In the second match against Susquehanna, Raffel recorded a double-double for the Panthers with 11 kills and a season-best 20 digs, while Sessions had nine kills. Kolodka added 13 digs and senior Charlotte Devine (Charlottesville, Va.) notched 10. Gold paced the team with 15 assists and Schaefer chipped in with 11.

Maggie O’Hearn had a balanced performance for the River Hawks with 28 assists, seven digs and five kills, while Morgan Lowe had a team-high 12 kills. 

• Volleyball record: 2-2
• Up next: 9/16 at Trinity – 8:00 p.m., 9/17 at Wesleyan – 2:00 p.m.