Volleyball Splits Pair of Five-Set Matches at Hall of Fame Tournament

Becca Raffel was named to the all-tournament team.
Becca Raffel was named to the all-tournament team.

The Middlebury volleyball team split a pair of five-set matches Saturday during the final day of the Hall of Fame Tournament. In the day's first contest, the Panthers (11-10) edged by M.I.T. by a 3-2 score in a match played at Amherst, but fell in their second match at Smith to Springfield, 3-2. The Panthers conclude their NESCAC regular-season schedule next weekend when they host Connecticut College on Friday at 8:00 p.m., followed on Saturday with a match against Tufts at 2:00 p.m.

For her efforts, Becca Raffel was named as Middlebury's representative to the all-tournament team. In three matches, the first-year Panther racked up 37 kills against just eight errors and a .234 hitting percentage. She also posted totals of 13 digs, a block solo and three block assists.

Against the Engineers (24-4) who received votes in this week's AVCA Division III national poll, the Panthers grabbed the opening set by a 25-21 count. M.I.T. took a 2-1 lead thanks to set victories of 25-16 and 25-22. Middlebury rebounded and took the match with wins in sets four (25-17) and five (15-13).

Raffel led the Middlebury attack with 15 kills, while Alice Roberts also finished in double figures with 14, hitting .355 for the match. Olivia Kolodka had nine kills, Gabi Rosenfeld added six, while Hannah Blackburn handed out 43 assists.

Defensively, Emily Kolodka paced the Panther effort with a season-high 28 digs, while Lizzy Reed was right behind with 22. O. Kolodka put up 10 digs along with three block assists, while Piper Underbrink had a block solo and seven block assists.

In the final match against Springfield (20-8), Middlebury jumped out to a 2-0 lead with wins of 27-25 and 25-17. However, the Pride battled all the way back and grabbed the final three sets by tallies of 25-17, 25-19 and 15-8 in the decisive fifth set.

O. Kolodka had 14 kills in the match, while Roberts concluded her tournament with 11 more. Blackburn racked up 43 assists, while E. Kolodka had three service aces. Reed accumulated 20 digs and Underbrink posted two block solos to go along with a block assist.