Middlebury eased past host Saint Michael's (0-3) in straight sets Tuesday evening by scores of 25-11, 25-8 and 25-9 in the Ross Sports Center. The Panthers (3-0), winners of 10-straight matchups between the two programs, return to action Friday for a 7:00 p.m. match at Clarkson.
With the opening set deadlocked at 7-7, the Panthers rattled off five-straight points for a 12-7 advantage. The hosts tallied the next point, before Middlebury recorded 13 of the next 16 points to take the initial set. The visitors hit .521 (13-1-21) as a team in the opening frame.
Knotted at 3-3 in the second set, the Panthers rattled off 15-consecutive points for an 18-3 advantage. Highlighting the run for the visitors were three kills each by Jane Nelson and Maggie Wise, as Middlebury eased to the two-set lead.
The Panthers raced out to an 8-0 edge in the final stanza, capped by a service ace by Emma Walsh. The Purple Knights tallied their first point of the set on a Middlebury attack error, but the Panthers answered with four-straight tallies for a 12-1 advantage. The visitors weren't challenged over the remainder of the set and eased to the three-set sweep.
Wise led the Middlebury offense with 13 kills and hit .522 (13-1-23) for the match, while Nelson had eight kills and a .727 hitting percentage (8-0-11). Walsh handed out a match-high 12 assists. Shea Golden dug up nine balls, while Lucy Ambach added four service aces.
Abby Gallagher led Saint Michael's with five kills. London Starley tallied seven assists, while Katy Konow ended her night with seven digs.
As a team, Middlebury tallied a .484 hitting percentage for the match, the third-highest mark in program history, while limiting Saint Michael's to a -.097 total.