October 25, 2010

            The 2010 Volleyball Hall of Fame Women's Invitational concluded with Middlebury and Bridgewater State winning their respective brackets. A total of 16 teams participated in the 19th edition of the tournament, which was hosted by Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. Prior to the beginning of the event, the teams were ranked based on their results thus far this season. They were then broken up into two eight team brackets. The top eight squads competed in the "Gold Bracket", while the next eight played in the "Silver Bracket".

            In the gold bracket's championship match, top seeded Middlebury breezed to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-21) triumph over sixth seeded Bowdoin. With tournament most valuable player Lauren Barrett (Medfield, Mass.) leading the way, the Panthers were flawless throughout the tournament. They won all three of their matches 3-0. The Panthers topped Tufts (25-13, 25-17, 25-14) in the semifinals and M.I.T. (25-21, 25-23, 25-19) in the quarters.

            In the opener, junior Jane Handel (Evanston, Ill.) and first-year player Megan Jarchow (Cos Cob, Conn.) each collected 10 kills in the win over M.I.T. Sophomore Julia Gibbs (Houston, Texas) led the squad with 12 kills in the victory over Tufts, while sophomore Caitlin Barrett (Medfield, Mass.) had 20 digs in the win. L. Barrett had 32 assists, while Handel earned four services aces. In the finals, Jarchow pounded out a dozen kills, followed by Handel with nine and Gibbs with seven. C. Barrett had 16 digs, L. Barrett dished out 33 assists, while Gibbs had four service aces.

            Earlier in the week, Middlebury earned a 3-1 (25-13, 24-26, 25-22, 25-19) win over Plymouth State in Pepin Gym. Jarchow led the team with 15 kills, followed by Gibbs with 14 and Handel with 10. C. Barrett earned a team-high 20 digs, Jarchow added 13, while Handel had 11. Gibbs drilled four service aces, junior Elissa Goeke (Chevy Chase, Md.) and sophomore Madeline Firestone (Slovang, Calif.) each had three blocks, while Lauren Barrett earned 40 assists.

• Women's volleyball record: 19-5
• Up next: 10/29 @ Hamilton, 10/30 vs. Williams @ Hamilton