Middlebury eased past visiting Saint Michael's in straight sets by scores of 25-11, 25-13 and 25-11 on Tuesday evening in Pepin Gymnasium. The Panthers (7-2), winners of four-straight matches, return to action Friday for an 8:00 p.m. NESCAC match at Bates, while Saint Michael's (0-6) hosts Southern New Hampshire on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
With the opening set deadlocked at 9-9, the Panthers rattled off seven-straight points, including three services aces from Jane Nelson, for a 16-9 advantage. The hosts continued that momentum, scoring nine of the last 11 points, highlighted by three-consecutive service aces by Shea Golden, to take the initial set. The Panthers finished with seven service aces in the frame.
The second set saw the hosts move out to a 5-2 lead on a service ace from Nelson. The Purple Knights battled back, tying the score at 8-8 on a kill by Jillian Harvie. Middlebury reeled off seven of the ensuing eight points for a 15-9 lead, capped by a kill from Corley Doyle. The Panthers recorded 10 of the next 14 points for a two-set lead.
With the final stanza tied at 5-5, Middlebury put together a quick 5-1 run, highlighted by a pair of kills from Isabella Marcus, for a 10-6 advantage. The Purple Knights pulled to within two at 10-8 with block assists from Allie Statile and Tanner Barton, but the hosts produced an 8-1 run and were never threatened to complete the three-set sweep.
Sarah Staver led the Middlebury offense with 12 kills, while Maggie Wise chipped in with nine. Emma Walsh handed out a match-high 26 assists. Gigi Alper dug up 11 balls, while Nelson added a career-best five service aces and Golden chipped in with three. Staver had a solid night at the net, finishing with a block solo and four block assists for the hosts.
Gabby Ratte led Saint Michael's with six kills. Konow tallied 12 assists, while Victoria Bradford ended her night with six digs.
As a team, Middlebury tallied a .373 hitting percentage for the match, while limiting Saint Michael's to a -.062 mark.