Panthers End New England Challenge By Splitting Two Matches

Corley Doyle was named to the all-tournament team.
Corley Doyle was named to the all-tournament team.

The Middlebury volleyball team split a pair of matches on Saturday during the final day of the New England Challenge hosted by MIT. In the day's first contest, the Panthers (11-7) defeated Springfield by a 3-0 score (25-21, 25-17, 25-22), before falling to No. 22 Babson in three tight sets during the afternoon (25-21, 25-22, 27-25). The Panthers return to action on Friday with a 7:00 p.m. home match against Bowdoin.

For her efforts, Corley Doyle was named to the all-tournament team with 19 kills and a .302 hitting percentage to go along with 13 total blocks (1 BS, 12 BA) over the three matches.

Against the Pride (16-8), the Panthers utilized a 9-2 run early in the first set to grab a 1-0 lead, before jumping out to a 15-6 advantage in set number two en route to a 2-0 edge. Ahead 22-20 in a back-and-forth tight third set, Middlebury tallied three of the final five points, including a match-clinching kill by Jaime Donnelly to complete the sweep.

Maggie Wise led the Middlebury attack with 13 kills on 28 attempts with zero errors for a .464 hitting percentage, while Doyle added nine and Donnelly chipped in with seven. Emma Walsh had a match-best 17 assists, while Chellsa Ferdinand handed out 12. Gigi Alper had 14 digs, while Lucy Ambach recorded three service aces.

In the final match against the nationally-ranked Beavers (23-1) that featured a tight result in all three sets, Wise and Shea Golden each produced 11 kills. Ferdinand tallied 19 assists, while Walsh posted 12. Alper tallied a team-best 11 digs for the Panthers, while Golden chipped in with eight.