Middlebury fell in straight sets at No. 23 Clarkson (9-0) on Friday evening by scores of 25-8, 25-20 and 25-16 at Alumni Gymnasium. The Panthers (3-1) return to action Saturday with an 11:00 a.m. match at SUNY Potsdam, followed by a contest against St. Lawrence at 1:00 p.m.
Ahead 6-4 in the opening set, Clarkson rattled off a 13-2 run capped by a kill from Kristin Werdine for a 19-6 advantage and eased to grab the initial stanza.
The second set featured a back-and-forth flow, as neither team held larger than a two-point advantage over the first 38 points. Tied at 19-19, the Knights tallied six of the final seven points, including a kill on set point by Delaney Harrison, for a 2-0 lead.
The final set saw Clarkson race out to a 5-1 edge on a service ace from Isabelle Crow. Middlebury battled back into the set, moving to within 7-6 on a Knight attacking error. The Knights rattled off a 6-1 run for a 13-7 lead. The Panthers again chipped away at the deficit, pulling to within 17-14 on a service ace by Chellsa Ferdinand. Clarkson rattled off the ensuing six points and was never challenged to complete the sweep.
Jane Nelson led Middlebury with six kills, while Maggie Wise added five kills. Emma Walsh handed out 12 assists, while Ferdinand added 11. Gigi Alper had a team-high 13 digs, while Shea Golden had 12 and Isabella Marcus added a block solo and two block assists.
Clarkson was paced by Rachel Reusch with 14 kills, while Werdine was right behind with 13 to go along with 10 digs. Crow recorded a match-best 40 assists for the Knights, while Kate Isaksen dug up 17 balls and Crow tallied 11.