Volleyball Makes It Eight Straight With Road Win at Wesleyan

Becca Raffel led all players with 19 kills.
Becca Raffel led all players with 19 kills.

The Middlebury women's volleyball team won its eight-straight match on Saturday, topping Wesleyan 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-18) in a NESCAC contest in Connecticut. Becca Raffel had a match-high 19 kills to lead the team to the victory. The Panthers are now 11-2 overall with a 3-1 mark in NESCAC play, while the Cardinals fall to 4-7 and 1-4 in the league. Middlebury returns to action on Tuesday night when it hosts Skidmore at 7:00 p.m.

Wesleyan held an early 9-6 advantage in the opening set, but Middlebury used a 9-2 run to open up a 15-11 lead. Down 20-14, the Cardinals called their second timeout of the set. Sarah Small ripped off three-straight kills to bring Wesleyan back within three at 20-17.

An ace by Heidi Westerman cut the Middlebury lead to two at 23-21, but Raffel answered with a kill to give the Panthers a set point.

Middlebury took the lead at the start of the second set, and a Raffel service ace had her club ahead 14-10 midway through the set. The Cardinals fought back, as four-straight points on the serve of Rachel Savage gave Wesleyan a 19-18 lead. The Panthers turned up the heat, winning seven of the next eight points and took the set 25-20. The last four points all came off the serve of Middlebury's Hannah Blackburn.

The two teams went back and forth to start the third set, but a Savage service ace gave Wesleyan a 12-10 lead. However, Middlebury won the next six points, five of them on the serve of Claire White-Dzuro and took a 16-12 lead.

The Cardinal managed to crawl back within a point at 17-16, before the Panthers responded by winning the next seven points, six of them on Raffel's serve.

Isabel Sessions finished with nine digs in the match, while Blackburn handed out 32 assists and eight digs. Emily Kolodka finished with a match-high 23 digs for the Panthers.

Swenson led the Cardinals offense with eight kills, followed by seven from Small.