The Middlebury volleyball team began its 2015 season with a three-set win over Manhattanville (4-1) on Friday evening as part of the Smith Invitational. The Panthers (1-0) return to the courts and will play twice on Saturday against Ursinus and the host Pioneers at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., respectively.
In the win over the Valiants, Middlebury was victorious by scores of 25-10, 25-15 and 25-21. Becca Raffel paced the attack with 14 kills and a pair of service aces. Eliana Schaefer added nine kills, while Melanie English hit a team-best .538 hitting percentage with seven kills on just 13 attempts and no errors. Hannah Blackburn dished out 38 assists and posted a team-high four service aces.
Defensively, Emily Kolodka led a balanced Panther effort with 12 digs, Charlotte Devine added nine, while Raffel along with Jen Ayer each chipped in with eight. English ended the match with a block solo and a team-best four block assists.
For Manhattanville, Alissa Primavera led the Valiants with six kills, while Meagan Dattoma and Allison Regan both had five. Megan Quinabo had 15 assists and Christina Nardi led the defense with 14 digs.