Volleyball Runs Win Streak to 10 With Sweep of Conn. College

Sarah Staver had one block solo and seven block assists on Friday evening for the Panthers.
Sarah Staver had one block solo and seven block assists on Friday evening for the Panthers.

Middlebury cruised to its 10th-consecutive overall win on Friday evening, a 25-13, 25-13, 25-10 NESCAC victory over Connecticut College in Pepin Gymnasium. The Panthers (12-2, 5-0) return to the court Saturday when they host Wesleyan at 2:00 p.m., while the Camels (9-6, 1-5) entertain Mitchell on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

With the score tied at 9-9 in the opening set, the Panthers tallied 13 of the next 14 points for a 22-10 advantage and were never threatened again in the set.

Much like the first set, the teams exchanged points and were knotted at 9-9 in the second. Middlebury rattled off a 9-1 run, capped off by a kill from Eliana Schaefer, for an 18-10 lead. The Camels cut the deficit to six on a Panther service error and a kill from Emma Hewlin, but Middlebury closed the set scoring seven of the last eight points for a 2-0 advantage. Becca Raffel ended the set with a kill down the line for the hosts.

The Panthers raced out to an 8-3 lead in the third set behind a pair of kills from Isabel Sessions and a pair of service aces by Gigi Alper. Following a Panther attack error that cut the advantage to four (8-4), Middlebury reeled off a 12-3 run for a 20-7 lead including three service aces and a pair of kills from Raffel. The hosts closed out the set and the match with a solo block from Sarah Staver for the sweep.

Raffel and Sessions led a balanced Middlebury offense, finishing with nine and seven kills, respectively. Schaefer chipped in with five kills, while Emma Walsh handed out a match-high 19 assists to go along six digs. Raffel paced the Panthers with 11 digs, while Alper had 10 and a match-best four service aces for the hosts. Staver (1 BS, 7 BA), Sessions (4 BA), Alice Roberts (1 BS, 2 BA) and Schaefer (3 BA) each had strong nights at the net.

As a team, Middlebury had 11 total blocks (2 BS, 18 BA) in the match and limited Connecticut College to a -.097 hitting percentage (18-27-93), while the Panthers hit .241 as a team (30-9-87) in the sweep.

The Camels were led by Maddie Rust and Hewlin with five kills each, while Grace McGee handed out 11 assists. Jenny Kellogg and Elle Kass both dug 11 balls for the visitors.