The Middlebury women's volleyball team saw its season come to an end with a 3-1 (25-15, 25-16, 22-25, 25-17) loss to Williams in a NESCAC quarterfinal match-up at Tufts. The Panthers end their season with a 15-11 record, including eight wins in their final 10 matches of the season.
The first two sets were taken by the Ephs as the Panthers never held a lead in either of the sets. Middlebury kept the first set close until Williams used an 8-3 run to build a seven point lead at 19-12. The largest lead of the set was ten for the Ephs, which was the final difference at 25-15.
Set two saw Williams jump ahead to a quick 5-0 advantage and eventually a set-high nine-point bulge at 15-6. The Panthers got no closer than six the rest of the way as the Ephs took a 2-0 sets lead with the 25-16 victory.
In the third set, the Panthers grabbed their first lead of the match at 3-2. After numerous ties throughout the set, including 14-14, 15-15 and 16-16, Middlebury took the lead for good at 17-16. The Panthers built a five-point cushion at 23-18, but then Williams used a small run to close to within two points at 24-22. Middlebury was able to put the set away at 25-22 as they now trailed two sets to one.
Williams controlled the action in the fourth set, but could not pull away from the Panthers early. Finally, with the score at 14-12 in favor of the Ephs, Williams put together a 7-2 run to build a lead of seven points. From there the Ephs won the match with a 25-17 fourth-set victory.
Sophomore Nicole Ballon-Landa (La Jolla, CA) led the Ephs with 20 kills for the match. Classmate Emily Avis (Palo Alto, CA) added 53 assists and three service aces. The digs leaders for Williams were junior Chelsea Kubal (Atheron, CA) with 19 and junior Melissa Pun (San Francisco, CA) with 11.
The Panthers were led by the 14 kills and 18 digs from first-year player Caroline Cordle (Atlanta, GA). Senior Lindsay Patterson (Aspen, Co) added 13 kills and a couple of service aces. Sophomore Lauren Barrett (Medfield, MA) contributed 35 assists.