Middlebury dropped its first home match of the season, falling 3-0 (16, 17, 20) to Amherst (12-5, 4-2) in Pepin Gym. The Panthers (13-2, 3-2) return to action on Saturday when they host Williams at 3:00 p.m.
Amherst came out charging, jumping out to a 9-2 lead. The Panthers closed the gap to 10-5 before the Jeffs extended their lead and comfortably took the first set, 25-16, hitting .478.
The second set was tied at 4-4 before Amherst moved out to a 12-6 lead. The Panthers came within four at 18-14, but the Jeffs closed the set on a 7-3 spurt to go ahead 2-0 with the 25-17 win.
Middlebury jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the third set behind the serving of Kathryn Haderlein and a pair of kills from Amy Hart. The Panthers led 10-3 when the Jeffs mounted a comeback, rattling off five straight points to cut the lead to 10-8. The surge continued as they took their first lead of the set at 14-13. Middlebury came back, leading 19-16 before the Jeffs closed the match on a 9-1 run. Lauren Antion had a big kill during the run, closing out a lengthy point to give her team a 24-20 lead. Amherst closed out the match on the following point to come away with the win. Neither team hit well during the third set, with Amherst at .103 and the Panthers at .000 with 12 errors after the impressive start.
Megan Jarchow led Middlebury with 11 kills, Hart had 10, while Haderlein earned 21 assists and 13 digs. Maggie Danner earned a match-high 14 kills with a .414 hitting percentage for Amherst, while Antion and Gould added seven apiece. Danner paced the team with 14 digs, Nicole Carter had 29 assists, while Antion finished with four total blocks.