Middlebury dropped its opening match to the host school 3-1 at the Bear Classic hosted by the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Bears, who dropped the first set 25-19, won the next three 25-18, 25-21 and 25-19 to improve to 6-5 on the season and run their home winning streak to 20 dating back to the 2010 season. Middlebury drops to 5-3 on the year.
In the first set, with the scored tied 10-10, Coast Guard scored six of the next seven for a 16-11 lead, but the Panthers responded with six straight for a 17-16 lead. The teams battled back-and-forth until Middlebury scored the final two points for a 25-22 win.
Coast Guard responded in the second set by jumping out to a 5-0 lead and led 11-2 before the Panthers scored nine of the next 11 to cut the deficit to 13-11. Coast Guard held a 22-21 lead and scored the final three to even the match.
The Bears led from start to finish in the third set jumping out to a 10-5 start and winning 25-17. Coast Guard scored the first five points of the fourth set and Middlebury would get as close as 15-14, but leading 19-17, the Bears ran off three straight and won 25-19.
Senior Catherine Walker had 17 kills while junior Kelsey DePorto added 16 kills to lead Coast Guard. Junior Samantha Marmolejo led the Bears with 17 digs while senior Karen Matic added ten digs to go with her team-high 36 assists.
Sophomore Piper Underbrink led the Panthers with 11 kills and four blocks while senior Julia Gibbs led the way with 15 digs and 34 assists. Senior Caitlin Barrett added 11 digs in the loss.
The Bear Classic concludes tomorrow with four matches. Middlebury will play DeSales at 10 a.m., Coast Guard takes on DeSales at noon, Middlebury battles Lasell at 2 p.m. and Coast Guard will play Lasell at 4 p.m. in the final match of the day.