MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Amherst College received a combined 24 kills from Maggie Danner '17 and Nicole Gould '17, but Middlebury College's Becca Raffel downed a match-best 21 kills and notched 12 digs to help pace the Panthers to a 3-1 (25-15, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16) victory over the Purple & White in Friday evening's NESCAC match at Pepin Gymnasium in Middlebury, Vt.
With the loss, Amherst moves to 10-6 overall, 4-3 in NESCAC action, while Middlebury improves to 13-4 on the season, 5-2 in league play. The Purple & White resume action Saturday afternoon at Hamilton College at 2 p.m. in Clinton, N.Y.
After falling behind in the match, 1-0 after Middlebury posted a 25-15 win in set one, Amherst responded with a victory in the second frame. The Purple & White held a 22-20 edge following a kill by the Panthers' Isabel Sessions, before an attacking error by Raffel, and a kill by Raffel set the score at 23-21. Charlotte Duran '20 then directed Amherst to the win as Annika Reczek '18 and Danner each smashed a kill to give the visitors a 25-21 win in the stanza.
Middlebury opened up a 16-8 lead in the third set and extended that lead to 20-12 on a kill by Raffel. Amherst rallied to within four (22-18) following a kill by Lauren Reppert '19, but a kill by Raffel, followed by an ace by Hannah Blackburn gave the Panthers a 24-18 lead. An attacking error by the hosts made it 24-19, but Alice Roberts closed out the set with a kill to make it 25-19 and give Middlebury a 2-1 lead in the contest.
The fourth set saw Middlebury use a 9-1 run to pull away to a 25-16 victory in the frame and complete the 3-1 win in the match.
- Danner finished with 13 kills to lead Amherst in the losing effort, while Gould notched 11. Marialexa Natsis '18 chipped in eight kills.
- Hayes Honea '19 led the Purple & White's back row efforts with a team-high 18 digs, while Duran followed with nine digs and 13 assists. Kate Bres '17 led the squad with 2- assists.
- Claire Dennis '20 tallied three assisted blocks, while Reczek picked up a pair of service aces.
- Blackburn handed out 29 assists to help propel Middlebury to the win, while Raffel totaled 21 kills. Emily Kolodka led all players with 25 digs, while Blackburn and Raffel contributed 14 and 12 digs respectively.
- At the net, Melanie English delivered five assisted blocks, while Roberts Eliana Schaefer and Sarah Staver added four assisted blocks each.