With 10 kills each from Megan Jarchow and Jane Handel, Middlebury College rallied from an early deficit in the first set and then closed out Colby-Sawyer College in three straight sets, 25-23, 25-21, 25-11, in the first round of the NCAA New York Regionals Friday afternoon at Alumni Gymnasium on the campus of Clarkson University. The Panthers improve to 22-8 overall on the season and advance to the NCAA NY Regional Semifinals against Skidmore College at 3:30 pm on Saturday afternoon. Colby-Sawyer saw its season end with a record of 20-15 overall.
The Chargers took a modest advantage in the first set and appeared ready to close out the opener, but Middlebury’s offense came alive to claim a two-point advantage. The Panthers took that late shift into the second set, but still had to battle it out against the Chargers as neither team posted a consistent offense. The Chargers had 13 kills in the second set, but added eight errors to the tally while Middlebury was a little better with 12 kills against six errors.
Despite the close quarters in the first two sets, Middlebury asserted itself in all facets to close out the match handily. The Panthers had a double-digit advantage early and were able to hold off Colby-Sawyer, peppering in aces and an assortment of kills to conclude the match.
The Panthers had eight aces in the match, with two coming from Julia Gibbs and Jane Handel and four more coming from four other servers. Besides Handel ‘s and Jarchow’s contributions, Amy Hart came through with eight kills. Julia Gibbs ran the offense with 33 assists and added in seven digs, while Caitlin Barrett produced better than six digs per set with a total of 19 for the Panthers.
Middle hitter Jackie Keating finished with nine kills to lead Colby-Sawyer, while Courtney O’Hara came through with seven kills, but also had seven errors. Sarah Hannon led the team with 16 assists and Kristin Sawyer tossed in nine more. Ally Le-Bruno matched the performance of her counterpart Caitlin Barrett, digging 19 balls for the Chargers.