Becca Raffel had 16 kills as Middlebury won for the 13th time in 14 outings, defeating Bates 3-1 (25-19,15-25,25-14,25-16) in NESCAC action Saturday afternoon in Alumni Gym. The Panthers sit in a four-way tie for second place in the NESCAC standings with a 6-2 mark. Middlebury returns to action next Friday night with a match at M.I.T.
The Panthers (15-3, 6-2) had little trouble in winning the first, third and fourth sets, coming up short in the second frame when they attacked at a -.065 percentage. In the second set, Bates countered with a .312 hitting percentage. Middlebury got back on the right foot in the third set, attacking at a .233 rate to Bates' -.080, and the Panthers picked it up a notch in the fourth set, with 13 kills against only three attack errors (.357).
Middlebury setter Hannah Blackburn was solid, tallying 44 of Middlebury's 45 assists and adding in three aces and 11 digs. Melanie English had 10 kills and four blocks and Eliana Schaefer contributed seven kills, while Emily Kolodka had a team-high 18 digs.
Bates (7-11, 3-6) received a big match from Chandler McGrath, who tied for the match high with 16 kills against five attack errors (.324) to go with three blocks. Augy Silver had a match-high 24 digs and Reilly Murphy had a match-high six blocks (two solo).