Middlebury won its third-straight match, as the Panthers (7-7, 3-3) picked up a 3-0 victory over Colby (9-9, 1-6) in Pepin Gym on Saturday afternoon. Middlebury cruised in the first set 25-12, earning 25-21 and 25-20 wins in the second and third sets to emerge with the win. The Panthers return to action at Colby-Sawyer on Tuesday, while the Mules play three matches at MIT on Friday and Saturday.
Middlebury jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set, capped by a kill from Olivia Kolodka. Colby came within three at 7-4 before the Panthers extended their lead to 14-7. The Mules earned the next point but that's as close as they'd come as Middlebury cruised to a first-set victory. Middlebury hit .522 in the first set en route to the 25-12 victory.
Colby jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the second set, behind a pair of kills from Kim Donaldson. The Mules led 13-10 before the Panthers went on a 7-1 run to take a 17-14 advantage. The set was tied at 18, 19 and 21 before Middlebury rattled off the last four points for the 25-21 win. Two kills by Becca Raffel and a service ace from Emily Kolodka keyed the run.
Middlebury took charge of the third set early, grabbing a 6-0 lead behind the serving of Hannah Blackburn. The advantage remained at four or more points throughout the set, with Colby closing the gap late. Melanie English sealed the match with the final kill as the Panthers came away with a weekend NESCAC sweep at home.
Raffel finished with a career-high 15 kills and hit .423 on the afternoon. O. Kolodka earned seven kills, followed by six from Piper Underbrink, who hit .750. Blackburn finished with 33 assists, while Underbrink assisted on three blocks. Lizzy Reed paced the defense with 10 digs in the contest.
Donaldson led the Mules with 11 kills and hit .368 in the match. Natalie Roy (8) and Sarah Arvidson (7) led the team in digs, with 17 assists from Emily Moslener. Donaldson also added a block solo and three block assists in the contest.