Megan Jarchow had 17 kills to lead Middlebury to a 3-0 (16, 25, 9) win over Hamilton on Friday night at this weekend’s NESCAC Quad hosted by Amherst. With the first set knotted at nine, Middlebury mounted a 10-4 run, building a six-point cushion. Still up 22-16 despite a Meredith Nuber kill, Jarchow put away a spike of her own to push the Middlebury lead back up to seven. Hoping to close things out, the Panthers’ Amy Hart tallied consecutive service aces to give Middlebury a 25-16 first set triumph.
Again deadlocked at nine to start the second, Hamilton mounted a 9-5 run to take an 18-14 lead. The Panthers responded by scoring two quick points before later pulling even at 22 on a Continentals’ error. Down 25-24, Jarchow hammered home a game-tying kill, sparking a 3-0 Panther run to close out the second set.
Looking to complete the sweep, Middlebury notched four quick points to force a Hamilton stoppage. Unfazed, the Panthers continued to stay hot, building a comfortable 10-0 lead before the Continentals got on the board. Ahead 20-5 after a Madeline Firestone block, Middlebury did just enough down the stretch, earning a 25-9 victory.
Hart and Jane Handel combined for 15 kills for Middlebury, while setter Julia Gibbs dished out 34 assists. Caitlin Barrett anchored the Panthers’ defensive efforts with 16 digs.
On Saturday, Handel finished with 12 kills and 12 digs, hitting .385 in Middlebury’s 3-0 (22, 13, 18) sweep of Williams during the second day of the NESCAC Quad. The Panthers move to 18-7 overall, finishing the year 7-3 in NESCAC play, clinching the third seed.
Taking an early 11-8 lead in the first set, Williams forced a quick Panther timeout. Regrouping, Middlebury mounted a 5-2 run following the stoppage, knotting things up at 13 on a Meg Anderson service ace. The Panthers later stretched their lead to 21-18 before closing out the 25-22 win on a Jarchow kill.
Hoping to seize control in the second, Middlebury raced to a 6-0 lead capped off by an Elissa Goeke spike. Down 9-0, Williams’ Claire Miller hammered home the Ephs’ first point, but the Panthers continued to go on the offensive, building a 19-11 cushion. Finishing strong, Middlebury netted six of the set’s final eight points, securing a 2-0 match lead on a Williams hitting error.
Ahead 3-1 in the third, the Panthers kept Williams at bay, going up 9-6 on a Handel kill. With Williams trying to crawl back, Alex Hart put away a spike to make it 11-6 before later burying another kill that made it 17-13. From there, Middlebury did just enough down the stretch, outscoring Williams 7-5 en route to the sweep.
Hart hit .320 with 11 kills, adding five digs and three block assists, while Goeke and Jarchow combined for 15 spikes. Gibbs had 30 assists, while Barrett collected 12 digs.