The Hamilton College volleyball team continued its strong start, posting a 3-1 win over NESCAC rival Middlebury on Friday night at Middlebury’s Pepin Gymnasium. The Continentals improved to 9-3 overall and their 2-0 conference record marks the first time they’ve beaten their first two NESCAC opponents.

Box score

Hamilton won the first two sets (for the seventh time this season), 26-24 and 25-23. After the host Panthers came back to win the third 25-12, they opened up a 12-6 lead in the fourth set before Hamilton ran off 11 straight points on the way to winning the set (25-19) and the match.

The win was Hamilton's first against Middlebury since the Continentals defeated the Panthers twice in 1995 and continues their best start in 16 seasons.

Erin Donahue ’18 led the winners with a career-best 12 kills. Margaret O’Brien ’18 added 11 – one short of her season best – and Emma Lonadier '15 collected 10.

Kyndal Burdin ’18 finished with 41 assists (her highest four-set total of the year) and added 10 digs. Anna Brown ’15 and Emily Rosen ’15 led Hamilton with 14 and 12 digs, respectively. O’Brien led Hamilton with five blocks and Jamie Granskie ’16 contributed three service aces.

The Panthers (2-5, 1-1 NESCAC) were led by sisters Olivia ’15 and Emily Kolodka ‘18, who finished with 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Middlebury setter Hannah Blackburn ’17 had 40 assists, 13 digs, three aces and three blocks. Lizzy Reed ’15 added a team-leading 17 digs and Emily Kolodka posted 14.

The Continentals play a pair of non-conference matches at the Skidmore Classic in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, facing the host Thoroughbreds at 1 p.m. and Sage at 3 p.m.

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