Middlebury raced out grabbing two of the first three sets at Wesleyan, but the hosts won the final two Saturday for a 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 14-25, 25-22, 15-7) NESCAC triumph in Silloway Gym. The Panthers dip to an even 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in league play, while the Cardinals stay unbeaten at 2-0 in the NESCAC and improve to 4-1 overall. Next up for Middlebury is its home-opening match on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. against St. Michael's, while Wesleyan travels to Eastern Connecticut State on Tuesday.
Middlebury scored six of the last eight points in the opening set to grab the early 1-0 lead, but the Cardinals pulled even with four-consecutive points in the second frame. The Panthers never trailed in the third set and regained the lead, before the hosts won the last two for the final outcome.
Becca Raffel led Middlebury with 17 kills and added eight digs, while Isabel Sessions contributed 14 kills. Chellsa Ferdinand (25) and Rose Gold (20) each finished with more than 20 assists, while Charlotte Devine had 20 digs. Alice Roberts and Melanie English had solid matches along the net, posting one solo block and five block assists each.
Stasie Litinsky led the Cardinals with 12 kills and Nicole Hilton recorded 11. Olivia Guidotti posted 21 digs and Audrey Konow notched a match-high 43 assists to go along with four service aces.