Volleyball falls in home match

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Colby College's Karolina Serhan had 10 kills and six blocks in three sets in a 3-0 loss to Middlebury College in NESCAC volleyball Friday night at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

Middlebury College used its height advantage and blocking ability to pull away in all three sets. The Panthers, the best blocking team in the conference, improved to 15-7 overall and 7-2 in the league heading into an away match at Bates College on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Mules dropped to 5-23 overall, 0-9 in the league, and will finish the season at home against Hamilton College on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Panthers won by set scores of 25-15, 25-21, 25-15.

The Mules took their only lead of the match at 5-4 in the third set. Colby extended the lead to 6-4 when Paige Hanssen hit a shot off a Panther blocker. 

Middlebury settled down and scored the next five points off the serve of Gigi Alper for a 9-6 lead. Isabel Sessions had two kills during the run. 

With the score 10-7 in the third set, Middlebury scored nine of the next 12 point points to take a 19-10 margin. Alper closed out the match with a service ace.

The Mules only trailed 9-7 in the second set when the Panthers started to take control. With the score at 12-9, Middlebury scored four straight points to push the margin to seven. After a point for Colby, the Panthers used a 4-0 run concluding with two straight kills from Sessions for a 20-10 margin.

A kill by Beth Neal gave the Panthers a 23-13 lead in the second set, but Colby refused to give up and cut the lead down so 23-18 behind the serve of Hanssen. After a timeout by Colby, Middlebury finally got point 24 only to watch the Mules score the next three for a 24-21 Panther margin. Becca Raffel came up with a big kill to close out the set.

The first set was close early and the teams were tied at 8-8. With the Panthers up 14-13, Middlebury scored eight of the next nine points to go up 22-14. Sarah Staver served a number of the points for the winners. Alice Roberts closed out the set with a tip winner that hit the line.

The Panthers, who .367 as a team, received 12 kills and two blocks from Staver. Sessions closed with eight kills, while Raffel had five kills and eight digs. Alper added nine digs and two aces. Hannah Blackburn finished with 27 assists and fellow setter Chellsa Ferdinand had nine assists.

Alexa Busser had six kills and two blocks. Paige Hanssen finished with four kills for the Mules.

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