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