Posted by Skidmore Athletics
POTSDAM — Skidmore Volleyball saw its magic season come to a close this weekend after making it to the second round of NCAA's. After winning on Friday, Nov. 11, Skidmore lost to Middlebury on Saturday, Nov. 12.
Thanks to 27 kills from Kelley Vershbow '12, the Thoroughbreds rallied from a 2-0 deficit to claim a five-set victory over Rivier College, 20-25, 20-25, 25-10, 25-22, 15-9, in the opening round of the Division III NCAA New York Regional held at Clarkson University. However, Saturday's game did not have the same result.
With a strong attack coming from all angles, Middlebury College hit .297 in its NCAA New York Regional Semifinal match against Skidmore College, and swept the Thoroughbreds in three sets, 25-21, 25-16, 25-23, Saturday afternoon at Clarkson University's Alumni Gymnasium.
Middlebury improved to 23-8 overall and advanced to the NCAA New York Regional Final at 4 p.m. on Sunday against the winner of Cortland and Clarkson. Skidmore saw its 13-match win streak come to an end and concluded its season with a record of 28-9.
In the first set, the two teams essentially traded points through the first half of the game, with neither gaining much of a foothold for a significant advantage. Finally, Middlebury broke out late and took a three-point edge, 18-15, to force a Skidmore timeout. However, the Thoroughbreds could not complete a comeback and fell 25-21 in the first set.
The second set saw Middlebury at its most potent offensively, as the Panthers struck for 16 kills and only four errors in 31 swings (.387) including an impressive stretch from Megan Jarchow and Jane Handel that changed the shape of the set as the Panthers cruised to a nine-point win. A topsy-turvy third set made it appear as if the match would need to go beyond the minimum, but late in the set a block of Vershbow on the outside dropped to the floor and ended the match as Skidmore tried to push to extra points.
Megan Jarchow led Middlebury with 15 kills and just three errors in 28 swings, hitting .429. She was bested by Amy Hart, who had 13 kills in comparison, but hit .455 overall. Jane Handel was comparatively pedestrian, though she had 14 kills and only three errors in 34 attempts. Julia Gibbs delivered 38 assists and also added four block assists. Handel and Caitlin Barrett each had 10 digs for the Panthers. Middlebury had 10 total blocks in the game, led by Madeline Firestone, who had five block assists, and Elissa Goeke, who contributed one solo block and four assists.
For Skidmore, Vershbow led the team with nine kills, while middle hitter Corrine Palmer '14 struck for eight kills and added five total blocks. Mallory Mendelsohn '13 guided the offense with 29 assists and also added three block assists and seven digs. Sam Friedman '13 led the Thoroughbreds with 16 digs