Volleyball Concludes New England Challenge With Two Wins

Isabel Sessions was selected to the all-tournament team for her play.
Isabel Sessions was selected to the all-tournament team for her play.

The Middlebury volleyball team won a pair of matches on Saturday during the final day of the New England Challenge. In the day's first contest, the Panthers (14-5) knocked off 21st-ranked MIT by a 3-1 score (25-19, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19), before outlasting Springfield in five sets during the afternoon (21-25, 25-15, 25-16, 20-25, 15-5). The Panthers return to action on Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. match at Colby-Sawyer.

For her efforts, Isabel Sessions was named to the all-tournament team with 45 kills and a .283 hitting percentage to go along with 37 digs over the three matches.

Against the Engineers (22-4), who are ranked third in the NCAA New England region, Sessions led the Middlebury attack with 15 kills, while Shea Golden added 11 and Corley Doyle chipped in with 10. Chellsa Ferdinand handed out 47 assists, while Golden and Jane Nelson each recorded a pair of service aces.

Defensively, Gigi Alper paced the Panther effort with 19 digs, while Ali Wheeler finished with eight. Sarah Staver had a block solo and four block assists to go along with nine kills in the win.

In the final match against Springfield (20-6), who is ranked fifth regionally, Sessions led a balanced attack with 19 kills, while Golden added a career-best 13. Doyle and Staver also ended the match in double figures with 12 kills apiece. Ferdinand tallied a match-high 54 assists to go along with five kills and 13 digs.

Alper tallied a team-best 22 digs for the Panthers, while Sessions chipped in with a career-best 20 and Golden added 10 to compete her double-double. Staver ended the match with four block assists and paced Middlebury with four service aces.

During the win over the Pride, the Panthers posted a .361 team hitting percentage with 70 kills and just 17 errors in 147 attempts.