October 1, 2012

The Panther women's volleyball team won three NESCAC matches last week, all of them played in Pepin Gym. Middlebury fought off a tough Williams squad, picking up a 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20) win over the Ephs on Wednesday.

Junior Megan Jarchow (Cos Cob, Conn.) led Middlebury with 15 kills on the night, while junior Amy Hart (Kenilworth, Ill.) added eight, sophomore Olivia Kolodka (Verona, N.J.) earned seven and sophomore Piper Underbrink (Ocala, Fla.) chipped in with six. Defensively, seniors Julia Gibbs (Houston, Texas) and Caitlin Barrett (Medfield, Mass.) each had 21 digs, while Hart added 11. Gibbs finished the match with 29 assists, rookie Kathryn Haderlein (Pasadena, Calif.) had 10, while Underbrink had three total blocks.

Middlebury improved to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the NESCAC with a 3-1 win over Colby (7-3, 1-1) on Friday. Middlebury cruised to a 25-14 win in the first set, before battling back to take the second set 28-26 after trailing 9-3 early. Colby had a pair of set points in the third before making it a 2-1 match with a 26-24 win. In the fourth set, the Panthers trailed 5-4 early before a pair of service aces from Barrett gave them a lead they would not relinquish. Fittingly, senior Madeline Firestone (Solvang, Calif.) and Kolodka ended the match with a block on a Colby attack.

Hart led the Panther offense with 16 kills, followed by nine apiece from Jarchow and Kolodka, while Firestone added eight. Underbrink finished the match with one solo block and eight assists, while Firestone had three solos and seven assists. Barrett earned a team-high 21 digs, followed by Gibbs (31 assists) with 18 and Barrett with three service aces.

Middlebury earned its second NESCAC win in as many days, topping Bates (7-8, 0-3) by a score of 3-1. The Panthers have now won five straight matches, the last three coming in NESCAC play.

Bates came away with a tight 25-23 win in the first set, before Middlebury came from down 22-19 to pick up a 26-24 victory in the second set. The Panthers got things going in the third set, with Firestone going 6-6 in her attack opportunities to give her team a 2-1 advantage. Middlebury continued its steady play in the fourth set, earning a 25-14 victory to take the match.

Hart paced the victors with 17 kills, while adding 15 digs in the match. Jarchow finished with a dozen kills, while Firestone had 10 to go along with her .643 hitting percentage. Gibbs dished out 33 assists in the win to go along with her 20 digs, while Haderlein had 24 assists. Barrett finished with 17 digs in the contest, while Underbrink had a pair of blocks.

Eliza Pyne paced Bates with 10 kills and three block assists, followed by Nicole Russell with eight kills. Laryssa Schepel finished with 16 digs, Russell added 12, while Tess Walther had 10.

• Volleyball record: 10-3

• Up next: 10/3 @ C. Sawyer, 10/6 @ Hamilton, 10/6 vs. Cortland @ Hamilton