Raffel and Blackburn Earn All-NESCAC Volleyball Accolades

(L-R): Becca Raffel and Hannah Blackburn each earned their second-straight All-NESCAC accolades.
(L-R): Becca Raffel and Hannah Blackburn each earned their second-straight All-NESCAC accolades.

COMPLETE NESCAC RELEASE

A pair of Middlebury College volleyball players were honored when the league announced its All-NESCAC honors. Sophomore Becca Raffel (Palo Alto, Calif.) was named to the conference's first team, while junior Hannah Blackburn (Chapel Hill, N.C.) earned second-team honors for the second time in her career. The duo was a part of a Panther team that finished the season with an 18-7 record, advancing to the NESCAC Semifinals.

Raffel, the 2014 NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year, was the only sophomore selected to this year's first team. The outside hitter is second in the league with 357 kills and third with 3.80 kills per set while hitting .257. She recorded a career-high 20 kills in a match twice this fall, a September 19 win over Cortland State and an October 9 victory against Amherst.

Raffel started all 25 matches and 94 sets, posting double-digit kill totals during 21 matches. The sophomore also posted 224 digs en route to nine double-doubles to go along with 31 service aces and 27 total blocks. Raffel was named the NESCAC Player of the Week on September 28 when she averaged 4.12 kills per set and hit .316 in a 4-0 week for the Panthers. She also averaged 2.35 digs per set and had three blocks.

Blackburn earns her second all-conference second-team laurel. The junior setter finished third in the NESCAC with 9.68 assists per set this season, dishing out 910 overall. She led the squad with 44 services aces, placing her in a tie for third in the league. Blackburn also earned 283 digs (3.01 per set) and chipped in with 54 kills. She earned a career-best 53 assists on September 19 in a victory over Cortland State, 10 times dishing out 40 or more in a match.

Blackburn became the fourth Panther setter in program history to eclipse the 2,000-assist plateau when she handed out 29 helpers on October 30. The junior has racked up 2,108 assists headed into her senior season.