The Middlebury volleyball team, seeded #4, saw its season come to an end with a 3-1 (25-18, 18-25, 25-22, 25-23) loss to fifth-seeded Bowdoin in a NESCAC Quarterfinal match played at Tufts. The Panthers finish the season with a final record of 12-12.
The Polar Bears (21-7) avenged a 3-2 regular-season loss to the Panthers back on October 10 in Vermont.
Tied at 15-15 in the opening set, Bowdoin closed on a 10-2 run, sparked by a pair of Christy Jewett service aces. Erika Sklaver put home the final two points of the set to give Bowdoin a 25-18 victory. In the second set, Middlebury sprinted to a 6-0 lead in the early going. Bowdoin was able to close to 17-16 before a 6-0 Panther surge, led by three kills from Alice Roberts, and claimed a 25-18 win to even the match at one set apiece.
The squads traded blows in the critical third set, as Bowdoin jumped to a 7-1 lead only to see Middlebury reply with an 8-1 run to deadlock the score. With the teams tied at 22-22 late in the set, Bowdoin got kills from Jewett and Dana Williams to help seal the 25-22 win.
Bowdoin took command in the fourth, jumping to another early lead, only to see Middlebury storm back with a late rally to tie the set at 23-23. Jewett finished off the Panthers with consecutive kills to vault the Polar Bears into the semifinals.
Roberts and Becca Raffel led the Panthers with 11 kills apiece, while Melanie English finished with nine and a .368 hitting percentage. Hannah Blackburn had 33 assists, while Charlotte Devine added a match-best three service aces.
Olivia Kolodka led four Panthers in double figures with 16 digs, while Lizzy Reed chipped in with 15. English ended her match with three block solos and two block assists, and Raffel tallied three block assists.
Jewett led all players with 22 kills, while Sklaver also posted a double-digit total of 13 kills for the Polar Bears. Quincy Leech dished out 27 assists, while Katie Doherty dug up a match-best 25 digs.