Panthers End Regular Season With Sweep of Hamilton

Emma Walsh had 18 assists and three service aces in Saturday's win.
Emma Walsh had 18 assists and three service aces in Saturday's win.

The Middlebury volleyball team capped its regular season Saturday with a 3-0 road victory (29-27, 25-15, 25-12) over Hamilton (10-13, 3-7) in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House. The Panthers (14-9, 6-4) earned the No. 5 seed in next weekend's NESCAC Tournament and open with fourth-seeded Amherst on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Top-seeded Tufts will host championship weekend.

In a back-and-forth first set that saw 16 ties including a 27-27 deadlock, the Panthers utilized a Continental attack error and a kill by Jaime Donnelly to grab a 1-0 lead.

With the second set score at 10-10, Middlebury rattled off a 12-1 run for a 22-11 advantage. Shea Golden highlighted the spurt with three kills for the Panthers. The two teams traded points, with the final one coming on a kill by Middlebury's Corley Doyle for a two-set advantage.

Ahead 9-6 in the final set, Middlebury put together six of the next seven points, taking a 15-7 edge on a kill from Golden. The Panthers were never threatened in the frame and eased to the sweep over Hamilton.

Maggie Wise led a balanced Middlebury output with 10 kills, while Doyle and Golden each added nine. Chellsa Ferdinand and Emma Walsh each handed out 18 assists, while Gigi Alper had a team-high 16 digs. Walsh posted three service aces for the Panthers. Lucy Ambach had a pair of block solos and a block assist at the net.

Hamilton was paced 15 kills from Giuliana Rankin, while Deirdre Corrigan added eight. Emma Parkhurst recorded 26 assists and three service aces for the Continentals, while Nikki Matsuoka dug up a match-high 17 balls.