The Middlebury volleyball team dropped a tight opening set, but rebounded to claim the final three stanzas during a four-set victory (26-28, 25-12, 25-13, 25-17) over Trinity Saturday in Pepin Gymnasium. The Panthers (4-2, 1-1) return to the court Friday when they play NYU at 5:00 p.m. as part of the Ramapo Tri-Match, while the Bantams (5-2, 0-1) travel to Amherst that same day at 7:00 p.m.
Trinity jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set on a kill by Hareena Johnson. The Panthers put together a 13-2 run, grabbing their largest lead of the set at six (15-9) via a kill from Isabel Sessions. The visitors responded with a 9-1 run for an 18-16 edge. After Middlebury drew even at 18-18 on back-to-back kills from Sessions, the teams traded small leads. Knotted at 26-26, a kill from Hanna Engstrom and a Panther attack error gave the visitors the opening set.
In the second set, the Panthers clung to a 6-5 edge before reeling off runs of 6-1 and 9-0 for the 25-12 victory to even the match at a set apiece. The ensuing set saw the hosts race out to a 7-1 advantage on a Bantam attack error. Trinity moved to within three at 7-4, but the Panthers put together a 7-2 run for a 14-6 lead. That advantage grew to as many as 13 at 21-8 on a kill by Sarah Staver as the Panthers earned the 25-13 set victory and a 2-1 lead.
The final set saw Middlebury move out to a quick four-point lead (6-2) before the Bantams cut it to three at 12-9 on a kill by Wyllie Boughton. The hosts reeled off a 9-2 run, highlighted by three kills from Maggie Wise, cruising to the victory.
Sessions and Staver paced the Middlebury offense with 17 and 14 kills, respectively. Chellsa Ferdinand handed out a match-high 42 assists to go along seven digs and three block assists. Gigi Alper dug up 17 balls, while Claire White-Dzuro had 12. Staver finished with two block solos and four block assists.
Rachel Underwood led Trinity with 11 kills, while Johnson produced 10. Jessica Yang dished out 25 assists, while Underwood and Ali Odermann both had 15 digs. Boughton ended the match with six kills to go along with a block solo and block assist.