Middlebury picked up its fourth victory in its last five matches with a 3-0 win Friday evening over host Trinity by scores of 25-18, 25-14 and 25-19 inside Oosting Gymnasium. The Panthers (8-8, 4-3) return to the court on Saturday when they stay in Connecticut for a 2:00 p.m. match with Wesleyan, while Trinity (11-7, 3-5) hosts Hamilton.
In the first set, the two squads battled back and forth with Trinity going on a 4-0 run to take a 17-16 lead. After falling behind, Middlebury closed out the set on a 9-1 run to take a 1-0 lead, 25-18. The Panthers carried the momentum over gaining an early advantage in the second set. A run of aces and well-placed kills gave Middlebury a 19-10 lead, as they held on and secured the set, 25-14.
In the third set, the two conference foes traded the first 26 points as the score was knotted at 13-13 apiece. The visitors answered with a 4-0 run and grabbed a 17-13 lead. Down the stretch, the Panthers held on for a 25-19 victory as Olivia Kolodka put the set and match away with a kill.
Becca Raffel and Kolodka paced the Middlebury attack with eight kills apiece, while Alice Roberts added seven of her own. Hannah Blackburn handed out 28 assists. Emily Kolodka produced a match-high 15 digs for the Panthers along with a season-best four service aces, while Blackburn completed her double-double adding 14.
Trinity was led offensively by Kate Giddens with a match-best 11 kills, while Hunter Drews chipped in with six. Amanda Horan added four kills, while Randi Whitham dished out 13 assists. Defensively, Kristen Cooprider led the Bantams with 10 digs.