Panthers Net Two Wins in Season-Opening Tri-Match

Gigi Alper tallied 57 combined digs during Saturday's two victories.
Gigi Alper tallied 57 combined digs during Saturday's two victories.

The Middlebury women's volleyball team had a solid start to the 2019 season, as the Panthers netted a pair of wins Saturday during the Union Tri-Match. Middlebury was victorious 3-1 against Manhattanville (25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 25-17) in its initial match, and capped the day with a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph (21-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-13, 15-9) over the host Dutchwomen. The Panthers (2-0) return to action on Tuesday when they travel for a 7:00 p.m. match at St. Michael's.

In the season-opening victory over Manhattanville (2-4), Maggie Wise paced the offense with a career-high 19 kills and hit .529 for the match. Shea Golden notched 12 kills in addition to 11 digs for a double-double, while Emma Walsh handed out 24 assists and Chellsa Ferdinand had 18. Gigi Alper posted a team-best 26 digs and four different Panthers had two service aces. Corley Doyle had six block assists, while Jane Nelson added five.

As a team, the Panthers hit .316 with 56 kills against 14 errors on 133 attempts in the opener.

In the second match of the day against the host Dutchwomen (5-1), the Panthers dropped the first two sets by identical scores of 25-21 and 25-21. Ahead 22-19 in the third set, Middlebury tallied the final three points, including kills by Isabella Marcus and Golden, to slice the deficit to 2-1.

Up 12-10 in the fourth, the Panthers reeled off the next eight points for a 20-10 edge, and knotted the match at 2-2 with a 25-13 set victory. The decisive set saw the visitors move out to a 9-2 lead, before the Dutchwomen tallied the next five points for a 9-7 score. The teams traded the next four points to make it 11-9, before Middlebury recorded the final four points to earn the five-set come-from-behind victory.

Wise led the attack with 15 kills, Nelson had 15 and Golden chipped in with 12. Walsh finished with double-double of 35 assists and 14 digs, while Golden added 20 digs. Alper ended with a match-high 31 digs, while Marcus five block assists and Wise had four at the net for Middlebury.