September 24, 2012

The Panther women's volleyball team dropped its opening match to the host school 3-1 at the Bear Classic hosted by the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Bears, who dropped the first set 25-19, won the next three 25-18, 25-21 and 25-19 to improve to 6-5 on the season and run their home winning streak to 20 dating back to the 2010 season. Middlebury drops to 5-3 on the year.

In the first set, with the scored tied 10-10, Coast Guard scored six of the next seven for a 16-11 lead, but the Panthers responded with six straight for a 17-16 lead. The teams battled back-and-forth until Middlebury scored the final two points for a 25-22 win.

Coast Guard responded in the second set by jumping out to a 5-0 lead and led 11-2 before the Panthers scored nine of the next 11 to cut the deficit to 13-11. Coast Guard held a 22-21 lead and scored the final three to even the match.

The Bears led from start to finish in the third set jumping out to a 10-5 start and winning 25-17. Coast Guard scored the first five points of the fourth set and Middlebury would get as close as 15-14, but leading 19-17, the Bears ran off three straight and won 25-19.

Sophomore Piper Underbrink (Ocala, Fla.) led the Panthers with 11 kills and four blocks while senior Julia Gibbs (Houston, Texas) led the way with 15 digs and 34 assists. Senior Caitlin Barrett (Medfield, Mass.) added 11 digs in the loss.

Middlebury picked up a pair of wins on day two at the 2012 Bear Classic at the United States Coast Guard Academy. The Panthers topped DeSales 3-1, before earning a 3-0 (25-9, 25-12, and 25-11) victory over Lasell. Middlebury improves to 7-3 on the year and will host three NESCAC contests next week.

In the first set, the teams exchanged points back-and-forth until Middlebury pushed the lead to 15-11. The Panther’s then went on to score eight of the next ten points en route to a 25-16 win.

The second set was all Desales. The Bulldogs never trailed in the set after getting out to a quick 8-3 lead. From there, they did their scoring in bunches, scoring three consecutive points four different times, winning the set 25-13.

The third set was a game of runs for both sides. With the score tied, 8-8, Desales went on to score eight of the next ten, pushing the lead to 16-10. Middlebury stormed right back on an eight of ten point run of their own, notching it up 18-18. The team’s swapped the next 10 points until the Panthers were able to string together the three final points of the set, winning 26-24.

In the fourth, with the set tied 14-14, Middlebury scored 11 of the next 14 points to win the set, 25-17, and the match 4-1.

Junior Amy Hart (Kenilworth, Ill.) led the Panthers with 13 kills, while sophomore Olivia Kolodka (Verona, N.J.) finished with 11. Gibbs dished out 25 assists to go with her three aces. Barrett led Middlebury with 17 digs.

After jumping out to a 9-6 lead in the first set, Middlebury scored eight consecutive points to push the lead to 16-6 in its match with Lasell. With the score 17-9, the Panthers scored eight more unanswered points to close the set 25-9. Middlebury, who never trailed during the match, used early leads to shut down the Lasers in each of the second and third sets, 25-12 and 25-11, respectively. 

It was a team effort for the Panthers who had nine players register kills. Kolodka led the team with eight, while rookie Katherine Haderlein (Pasadena, Calif.) posted 13 assists in the victory.

• Volleyball record: 7-3

• Up next: 9/26 vs. Williams – 7:30, 9/28 vs. Colby – 8:00, 9/29 vs. Bates – 2:00