COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's volleyball team held its home opener on Tuesday night, falling to Middlebury College, 3-0 (27-25, 25-11, 25-10), in non-conference action in the Ross Sports Center. The Purple Knights slipped to 0-5 overall while the Panthers improved to 5-2.
Sophomore Jordan Dean (Gilford, N.H./Gilford) notched season highs of nine kills and 12 digs while hitting .500. Classmate Tanner Barton (Hudson Falls, N.Y./Hudson Falls) pitched in eight kills and one service ace. Junior Gabby Ratte (Kula, Hawaii/Seabury Hall/Colby-Sawyer) handed out 25 assists with six digs and two blocks while senior Julia Colasanti (Northville, Mich./Northville) added eight digs.
Senior Becca Raffel had 11 kills, nine digs, and one service ace while junior Isabel Sessions led in kills with 13 in addition to hitting .684. First-year Emma Walsh made her season debut with 32 assists and seven digs.
It was a close first set before the Panthers pulled ahead 7-4 off of the second ace from sophomore Gigi Alper during a 4-0 run. Middlebury continued to hold the lead until the Purple Knights tied it up at 10-10 with a kill from Barton. The Purple Knights went on a 6-0 run to go in front, 17-13, with senior Megan Priester (Dover, N.H./Dover) recording three kills in that time. The Purple Knights continued to hold the advantage at 24-20 before the Panthers went on a 4-0 run to tie the set. Barton struck a kill for the Purple Knights to put them back on top before the Panthers finished off the set with three straight points, as Raffel dropped an ace and a kill in that time.
During the start of the second set, Dean's kill allowed the hosts to lead 7-6, but the Panthers responded with a set-clinching 19-4 run to grasp the victory. The two squads were knotted at 5-5 in the third set after first-year Jillian Harvie (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) posted a kill and an ace during a tying 4-0 run. The Panthers used two aces to put together a 6-1 run, and the Purple Knights still trailed just 15-10 on sophomore Allie Statile's (Simsbury, Conn./Simsbury) kill. However, Middlebury finished off the set with the final 10 points.
The Purple Knights begin Northeast-10 Conference play on Friday at Bentley University at 6 p.m.