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Middlebury Downs Volleyball in Straight Sets

Middlebury Downs Volleyball in Straight Sets

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Connecticut College volleyball team fell by a 3-0 decision to Middlebury at Pepin Gymnasium on Friday evening. Set scores were 25-13, 25-13 and 25-10.

The opening set was tightly contested at the beginning, as the teams found themselves locked in a 9-9 tie on a kill by junior Maddie Rust (Austin, Texas). The Camels, however, committed a service error on the next play, and the Panthers scored five straight to gain momentum and prompt their guests to take a timeout. Junior Jenny Kellogg (Los Altos, Calif.) smashed a kill coming out of the break, but that was as close as the Camels would come the rest of the way. Middlebury scored the next eight points, which included getting two blocks from Sarah Starver, and would take the set on a kill by Becca Raffel.

There were four lead changes and eight ties in the early stages of the second set, but the Panthers got in a rhythm and embarked on a 7-0 run to take an 18-10 lead and pull away again. The hosts then took the frame on another kill by Raffel.

Middlebury (12-2, NESCAC 5-0) led from wire-to-wire in the third set by building up a 6-1 lead out of the gates. The margin reached twin figures at 15-5 on a Jaime Donnelly service ace, and the Panthers clinched the match on a solo block by Starver to remain unbeaten in conference play.

The Panthers benefited from a balanced approach which was led by Isabel Sessions and Raffel. Sessions notched seven kills along with four blocks, while Raffel fell just shy of a double-double with nine kills and 11 digs. Staver contributed eight blocks.

Sophomore Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.), freshman Elle Kass (Los Gatos, Calif.) and Kellogg all put up twin figures for the Camels. McGee notched 11 assists, while Kass and Kellogg had 11 digs apiece.

Connecticut College (9-6, NESCAC 1-5) will return home to face Mitchell in a non-conference battle on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 7:00 p.m.