Fifth-seeded Middlebury saw its season come to an end with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-20) loss at top-seeded Tufts (25-1) in a NESCAC Semifinal contest. The Panthers end their season with a 15-10 mark, while the No. 14 Jumbos will take part in the championship match on Sunday at noon.
Ahead 6-5 in the opening set, Tufts rattled off an 8-1 run for a 14-6 lead on a kill from Jennifer Ryan. That advantage grew to as many as 11 (22-11), before the Panthers sliced it to 23-16 on a kill by Maggie Wise. The Jumbos tallied two of the last three points of the set to grab the 1-0 edge.
In the second frame, Tufts utilized runs of 7-1 and 10-3, securing a two-set lead on a kill by Cate Desler.
The hosts took a 6-2 lead on a service ace by Stephanie Lee in the third set. The Panthers came clawing back, grabbing a 10-9 edge on a kill from Jane Nelson. Trading small leads throughout the stanza, the Jumbos turned a 21-19 advantage into a 25-20 victory to complete the sweep.
Corley Doyle led a balanced Panther attack with seven kills, while Jaime Donnelly and Shea Golden each added five. Chellsa Ferdinand ended the match with 14 assists, while Emma Walsh handed out 10. Gigi Alper had nine digs, while Golden tallied a pair of service aces.
Christina Nwankpa paced Tufts with 12 kills, while Desler chipped in with 11. Rachel Furash had 20 assists for the Jumbos, while Ariel Zedric posted 15. Brigid Bell recorded a match-best 10 digs, while Stephanie Lee tallied four service aces.