Second-seeded Middlebury repeated its effort against seventh-seeded Trinity during the regular-season meeting of the squads in Hartford Oct. 13 by posting a 3-0 victory in the first round of the NESCAC women’s volleyball tournament. The win propels the Panthers into the semifinals against the winner of the Bowdoin/Tufts first-round match played Friday night.
Middlebury took the opening set by a tight 26-24 count, breaking a 24-24 tie with a kill by junior Megan Jarchow, then capturing the set when a Trinity attack went wide. The score was even at 19-19 before Middlebury took a 22-19 lead with three straight points. The Bantams responded with three points of their own to make it 22-22. Kills by senior Julia Gibbs and Jarchow put Middlebury on the brink of victory at 24-22, but again Trinity rebounded with two points, the last on a kill by first-year Kate Giddens, for a 24-24 score.
Trinity got off to a 6-2 start in the second set, but a 12-5 Middlebury run spotted the Panthers a 14-11 margin. The lead edged out to 19-14 before a 5-1 Trinity run narrowed the difference to a single point, 20-19. Middlebury picked up four of the next six points for a 24-21 lead and finished off the 25-22 win on a kill by senior Madeline Firestone.
Middlebury controlled the tempo of the third set after Trinity scored the first two points. A 7-1 Panther burst put Middlebury up 7-3, and the lead never fell below four points the remainder of the set. The margin peaked at 17-9 before a kill from Jarchow closed out the 25-18 final set.
Jarchow finished with 10 kills for Middlebury while Gibbs led the way with 11. First-year Kathryn Haderlein collected 31 assists to direct the Middlebury attack. Senior libero Caitlin Barrett led Middlebury in digs with 14 while Haderlein added 13.
Trinity got a nine-kill effort from junior Hannah Brickley. Senior Danielle Isaman was right behind with eight, followed by Giddens with seven. Assists were split evenly between junior Amy Hackett and first-year Gina Buzzelli, both with 13. Brickley was tops in digs for the Bantams with 11. Isaman added 10.