The Middlebury volleyball team split a pair of matches on Saturday in SUNY Potsdam's Maxcy Field House. In the day's first contest, the Panthers (4-2) edged the host Bears by a 3-0 score (26-24, 25-16, 25-20), before St. Lawrence posted a come-from-behind victory in five sets during the afternoon (22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-12). Middlebury returns to action on Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. home match against Colby-Sawyer.
Against the Bears (3-5), the Panthers grabbed the tight first set 26-24 on a kill by Jaime Donnelly. Ahead 12-7 in the second frame, Middlebury rattled off an 8-1 run for a 20-8 lead on a kill from Maggie Wise and secured a two-set advantage. Knotted at 8-8 in set number three, the visitors put together a 10-2 surge for an 18-10 edge and eased to the three-set triumph.
Wise led the Middlebury attack with 11 kills, while Jane Nelson added nine. Emma Walsh handed out 13 assists, while Shea Golden recorded three service aces. Defensively, Gigi Alper paced the Panther effort with 22 digs, while Walsh finished with eight.
In the match against St. Lawrence (9-1), the Panthers grabbed the first two back-and-forth sets, before the Saints leveled the contest at 2-2 by securing sets three and four. In the decisive fifth set, St. Lawrence earned the victory by a 15-12 score.
Alper tallied a team-best 41 digs for the Panthers, while Golden added 25 and Walsh had 12. Doyle ended the match with a block solo and a block assist, while Nelson had a pair of block assists. With her combined 63 digs, Alper has amassed 1,255 during her career, moving her into fourth place in program history.