Thursday, December 1, 2016

Season Ends in NCAA Regional

What a match!  We were the only match the whole weekend that went to 5 sets, and I'm sure it was an exciting match to watch.  We were sent to the NY Regional at SUNY Brockport and were matched up in the first round against Ithaca College.  Personally, it was a good match up as the coach and I are friends and have been for years now but we don't play them in the regular season, so it was nice to see him again.  After watching film, I thought we matched up well with them player for player, and we were all excited about the opportunity to play in the NCAA's--first time for this group since we hadn't been since 2012.

Because of the distance, we practiced at home on Thursday night and then loaded the bus with Flatbread pizza's and headed for Brockport, NY.  We arrived shortly before midnight and slept soundly before heading over the the gym for our morning practice time.  The gym was very nice, but had a somewhat low ceiling so it was nice to get the feel for the gym, but that's a luxury that we normally don't have.  The match before us went in three straight, so we were right on schedule for warmups before the game, which is nice.

Ithaca proved to be a very good team, and like we thought, we matched up very well.  The first two sets were decided by only two points, both extending beyond the 25 limit, but unfortunately we came out on the short end both times.  The match seemed to be going in small runs back and forth by both teams.  It was very tightly contested, yet both teams would get leads and them come back.  We had an early lead in the first set, only to see it dwindle to a 20-20 tie, and eventually a 25-25 tie before they scored the final two points to take the first set.  The second set was the reverse with Ithaca holding early leads, and even a 16-11 lead before we fought back to tie it up 21-21 and 24-24 before they again scored the final two points for a 2-0 set lead in the match.

At that point, we switched to our 6-2 offense to try to contain their OH's a bit more with a bigger block, and that seemed to work well.  That third set started off with us trading points until we opened up a lead 20-12, but Ithaca fought back to within 3 at 23-20, but we secured the 3rd set with a 25-21 victory.  The forth set was more of the same tight, back and forth play until we again pulled away late behind some strong serving from Chellsa and pulled the match even at 2-2, forcing a deciding 5th set!

The 5th set was again more of the same, but we seemed to have the upper hand a bit, taking a 7-4 early lead, and even getting three match points, up 14-11.  I've watched this ending several times now, and we had good opportunities, but each time Ithaca came through with the counter.  We initially had a very good tip opportunity by Alice that had been working all night, and their blockers just caught it, sending it back to our side instead of it trickling down behind them.  Melanie had a great hit that they barely got up and were scrambling to keep in play, giving us a free ball, which we executed well, but they blocked us on that attempt also, and their final point came when we gave them an easier ball that they sent to their OH who put away the match winner.  Both OH's for them had 20 kills, and we were expecting one of them to be tough to contain, but not both.

Our offense was fairly balanced as it had been all season with 18 and 13 kills by Becca and Isabel, followed closely with 9 and 8 kills by Sarah and Alice.  Eliana came in for the last 3 sets and tallied 5 kills and 3 blocks, while Melanie finished her career with 7 blocks and 3 kills.  Sarah and Alice both added 3 and 4 blocks respectively, and  Chellsa led the team with 5 service aces.  Gigi led our defensive effort in the back with 17 digs followed by Emily with 11, but their libero came up with a match high 35 digs as they tallied 85 digs to our 61.  We actually ended the match with a higher hitting % (.207), more aces, and more blocks, but we just didn't come up with the points when we needed them.

I am so proud of this team!  We have been on the other (winning) end of so many matches like this during the season, and we just kept fighting each and every time.  We kept our composure, and made some big plays, and this time, it just didn't go our way.  I give credit to Ithaca as they came up with the plays they needed to win, but it was a great match all the way around.

We'll wrap up our season soon with our banquet and final meetings, and then most of our juniors will go abroad, we'll see our seniors finish up their college days, and then we'll welcome the new freshmen and do it all again next year!  I love my job!!  :)  Happy Holidays to everyone!!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

MIDD Wins NESCAC Championship!!

NESCAC Championship weekend--what FUN!  We had to start out by beating Bates in the Quarterfinals after having lost to them just a week before.  It was a very tough match, as we expected, but our defense was much improved from the first time we played them as we out-blocked them, had almost as many digs, and hit .241.  Becca had a career high kill night with 22, and Hannah had career high digs with 27.  Alice had a match high 6 blocks while Mel had 5 and Sarah had 3 to double their team blocks 12-6.

Because we'd played the early match as the #2 seed, we were able to both watch a bit of the 3vs6 match, and go out to dinner at a restaurant, which was a nice treat.  Our Conference weekend matches are set at 8pm on Friday nights, so we never go to a restaurant afterward because it's so late, which was very nice!

After dinner, we headed back to our hotel for a good night's sleep.  A little before midnight, however, the fire alarm went off and we all had to evacuate the hotel for about 20 minutes or so until they could give us the all-clear to go back inside.  Some were already in bed, or at least ready for bed and thus decked out in jammies and no socks/shoes outside!  Nothing holds back a Panther, though, and the next morning we were up and ready to face Amherst!

We were on a roll for the Amherst match, sweeping them 3-0, and were really clicking with our offense as we hit .281 and held very slight advantages in digs, aces, and blocks.  The first and third sets were tightly contested while the 2nd set we ran away with a little more.  We found ourselves down late in both of those tight sets, and had to come from behind for the wins.  We trailed 17-19 in the first, going on a late surge to win 25-22.  Up 2-0 in sets, we got behind in the 3rd set early 8-14, but pulled even at 20-20, and then traded points a bit before scoring the final two points for the 3-0 win 25-23.

We were headed back to the finals for the first time for anyone in this group, and thus earned another dinner out, which was great!  We could get used to this!  We stayed at a different hotel Saturday night and found an Outback Steak House to eat at near our hotel.  Another good night's sleep, and we headed back to Tufts for the Championship match on Rose's birthday!!

Our Field Hockey team was also at Tufts for the weekend playing in their NESCAC Championship also.  It was fun to see them and wish them well in their final also.  It's always nice to have one of our MIDD teams at the same location as us, so GO MIDD!!

The final vs Tufts was a great match.  When we lost to them in 5 sets earlier in the season, we knew then that we'd love to have a re-match on a Sunday (which would mean that it would be the NESCAC Finals), and that's exactly what we got!  Tufts was currently ranked #1 in New England, but that didn't stop us from believing we could win!  After all, we'd already beaten a #1 Team in the region when we beat UMass Boston in early October.  We started out in our 5-1 offense as we had for the last couple of matches because it had been working very well.  Not so much on this day, however, as we lost the opening set 25-14!  We quickly transitioned to our 6-2 and took the next two sets, both by scores of 25-19 to take a 2-1 lead in sets.  The 4th set was another tight set but Tufts edged ahead late to go up 19-24.  Faced with 5 set points, we sided out, and sent Emily to the service line, still down 4 set points.  We fought back and there were many long rallies as we tied it up 24-24 on Emily's serve, only to go down a set point again, and then lost the last point on a joust at the net.

So, we were on to the 5th set.  The Championship match has gone to a 5th set the last couple of years, and that just shows the parity in our Conference.  Tufts jumped out to early leads of 5-2 and 10-6 in the 5th set, but we just remained calm and kept fighting to chip away at the leads, as we had all weekend, and all season, really.  Down 6-10, we surged ahead with a combination of big plays by us and some attack errors by them to take a 13-11 lead.  They had one more attack error and then a double block by Eliana and Melanie sealed the Championship for MCVB!!  Here's a quick video of match point taken by one of our faithful MCVB family members!

By the time the 4th set rolled around, the Field Hockey game had ended and the gym started to really fill up, making for a loud, great atmosphere for the 5th set!  Our field hockey coach later told me that she didn't realize that we only played to 15 in the 5th set and was very happily surprised when it just ended 15-11 and we all rushed the floor!

Our super fans, Kathryn '16 and Meg '14 were there to cheer us on all weekend, as were other former players/parents Katie Kenney Enslin '03 and family, and Tim and Lisa Barrett P'11, P'13.  It was a thrilling finish to a great weekend, and the team, although ecstatic about the win was quite honestly exhausted afterward, as you can see from the post match picture waiting to load the bus home.

It was fun to get messages from alums and even a couple alum parents leading up to NESCAC's and again after winning our Program's 5th Championship!!  Thank you ALL for the wonderful support!!  GO MCVB--headed back to the NCAA's!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Alum Meg Anderson Spends Yet Another Birthday with MCVB

I can't believe I forgot to include this in our recent blog entry.  The birthday weekend in question as a whole was a bit of a bust; however, a highlight for sure was Meg sharing her birthday (and, let's be honest, her birthday CUPCAKES) with us when we were at MIT a couple weekends ago!  Happy Belated Birthday to Meg on Oct. 22.  For four years while Meg was playing at MIDD we were at the Hall of Fame Tournament.  Then, she spent two more years with us as a coach, and I think two years ago we were still at the HOF, and last year and this year we were at MIT.

Looking forward to seeing her again this weekend at Tufts when we start our quest for another NESCAC Championship Friday night at 5pm vs Bates!!  GO MCVB!!

(For any alums reading this, even with the #2 seed, we still play on that little upstairs court at Tufts with the half walls separating the court from the hallway!!)

MIDD Splits in Maine--Headed to NESCAC's as #2 Seed

Our final weekend of the regular season took us to Maine to play both Colby and Bates.  Colby has been struggling this season, and posed no real threat as we cruised to a 3 set sweep on Friday night by the set scores of 25-15, 25-21, 25-15.  We did meet up with our first "real" bout of snow as we crossed over the Killington gap on our way over, which is where we met our first flurries of snow the previous weekend on our way back from MIT, so winter is on it's way after a gorgeous Fall.

The next morning we headed to Bates to play our regular season finale, after our stop at Dunk, of course.  The fun thing in Waterville was that there was a Tim Hortons just a couple of stores down from the Dunkin Donuts, which made Claire VERY happy!!

Onward to Bates, where we met more than our match that day.  They were super pumped up for senior day, and they even gave our seniors flowers, which was a very nice touch and much appreciated.  Bates came out on fire, and dominated the first set scoring 5 points in a row on two separate occasions for leads of 11-5, and 20-10 to eventually take the first set 25-11.  The second set was more back and forth, but they were still scoring points in bunches whereas we were just getting one at a time, for another lopsided set score of 25-15.  We seemed to find a groove in the 3rd set, jumping out to a 9-3 lead, and expanding it to a 20-10 lead before a late surge brought them to 24-16, when we closed out the set on a kill by Sarah.  The final set was unfortunately marked by point runs by Bates again as they jumped out to a 13-3 lead that proved to be too much to come back from.

Overall, we made too many errors as we hit only .103 for the game, and had only 39 kills to go with our 23 hitting errors.  Bates defense was all over the place, and they got every ball up it seemed, along with their OH's coming up with 16, and 17 kills respectively while ours hit .050 combined, and we were out-blocked...Isabel was our only player in double digit kills, but unfortunately had double digit errors also, and Alice and Sarah were the only ones to hit over .100, along with Mel, so it was a tough day for MCVB all together.

The good news for us is that we'll get an immediate shot at redemption on Friday night when we play them in the NESCAC Quarterfinals at Tufts!  We're excited about the opportunity to redeem ourselves, and are looking forward to putting it all together this weekend for a fun (and hopefully long) weekend of volleyball!!

On another note, Halloween started out our week, which was a fun way to get the week started.  Here's a picture of only some of our MCVBees...and a hot dog?!  :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rough Weekend for MCVB

The New England Challenge Tournament proved to be quite a challenge for MCVB.  Our first stop on our trip was at Panera, where we scored some extra baguettes, which was a fun start!  We were headed to play Babson that night before going to MIT on Saturday to face both Springfield and MIT.  The regional rankings going into the weekend had Tufts at #2, MIT #4, Springfield #5, MIDD #6, Williams #10, and Babson #13. 

Having faced Babson earlier in the season, we felt like we knew what they wanted to do offensively, and although they are a very good team, we thought we matched up well, and felt prepared for the battle.  The match was being played in honor of one of the Babson players who's currently battling cancer and is taking some time away from school, but was there to support the team.  I know this player well, and want her to know that MCVB is supporting her fight as well.  She looked great, and is doing well right now, so keep up the fight, Olivia!

Unfortunately, we didn't bring our A-game, and had trouble finding consistency.  We had wild swings within the sets, jumping out to an 8-2 lead in set 1, only to see it get cut right back to 8-7.  Then, after being tied 17-17, we edged a lead out to 21-17 before they went on a 6-1 spurt to put us down 22-23 and calling our final timeout.  We would only score one more point as they went on to take the first set 25-23. In the second set we traded points until about 8-8 before they surged ahead 17-12.  We made a little headway, but lost that set 25-20.  The 3rd set we were down again, and facing elimination down 16-23, we fought our way back with a 5 point run to get to 21-24, and then staved off three match points to go on another 5 point run to take the 3rd set 26-24!  I thought we were coming out of our funk, but alas, it was not true and after being tied 7-7, we lost the 4th set 25-14.

It was a torrential downpour outside, with flash flood warnings popping up on our phones like crazy.  We made slow going back to the hotel, but ordered food to be delivered, and finally got to eat around 11pm.  The next morning was a pretty quick turn around as we headed back into Boston at 8am to prepare for our 10:30 bout with Springfield.  That match was pretty ugly, honestly, from our perspective.  They have a powerful offense with a 6'2" All American middle hitter, so if you can keep them out of system, you can win, but we couldn't get in system ourselves long enough to force them out of system, and some key serving errors at bad times just made it that much worse, and we ended up losing in straight sets without really competing for the match at all.

MIT was our last match of the weekend, and I actually felt good going in.  I thought we matched up well, and if we could get our defensive/receive game back, I liked our chances.  Fortunately, we did start to block again, which was nice to see, but we didn't find our consistency on any front, and ended up losing in straight sets.  The 2nd set was very competitive, and we fought for the other two, but came up short.

It was a challenging weekend of non-conference, top regional opponents, so it was a great test for us.  Although we didn't perform as well as we wanted to by any means, I think we learned a lot, and will come back hungry for practice this week heading into our final two Conference matches before the NESCAC Tournament.  It's all about getting better every day as a team, so I'm confident that we'll continue to do just that.   We like to stress with the players that it's not what happens that matters most, but it's how you react to what happens.  Things don't always go your way, and bouncing back and showing resiliency is a very important life skill, and we're testing that out right now!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Some Fall Break Fun...

Following a nice home stand where we won 3 of 4 key NESCAC matches, we also had Fall Break on Oct. 17-18.  No class on Monday and Tuesday after senior day isn't all bad, although sometimes it's nice when it comes after long road trips, but we'll take any break we can get.  Mid terms seem to drag on and on, so it's nice for the team to get a break when they can sleep in and catch up on some work, and have a couple of days without the schedule of classes, etc.  With this extra time, we decided to have some good ole Laser Tag FUN! 

It's all for fun, and there was no competing going on between the red and blue laser tag, none at all...

We all split into three groups for the laser tag competitions, and then jumped in the bounce house, and played some games.  Good, old fashioned fun in my mind! Nerf is a great host, and he loves to have the teams come by, so thank you, Nerf, for a great time!!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Melanie English '17 Named Phi Beta Kappa

The weekend of Oct. 7-8 proved to be a very busy weekend indeed.  Not only did we face two key NESCAC foes on our home court and celebrated Parent's Weekend, but Melanie was honored as Phi Beta Kappa!!  She was one of only 13 students to receive the prestigious academic honor, and we couldn't be more proud of her!  Well done, Mel!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

MIDD Gets 3 of 4 Key NESCAC Wins!

We had two home weekends in a row with key NESCAC games.  The first weekend saw Bowdoin and Tufts come to town, followed by the "Purple Weekend" against both Amherst and Williams.

The first weekend we celebrated Parent's Weekend, and started it out with a win over Bowdoin 3-0.  The sets were all close, but having faced them last in the NESCAC semi-finals last year, it was great to get that win in straight sets.  The scores were all close, but there were pretty big swings within the sets.  Set one saw MIDD get out to a 17-11 lead only to see that margin narrow to 23-21 before we registered the last two points for the win.  Set two saw us go up by a few points early, only to find us trailing 19-21 late. Again, a final push where we scored 6 of the final 8 points for a 25-23 win in set 2.  The final set was similar again, only going down by a few points early to storm back to a 20-19 lead and wouldn't trail again trading points before taking the final set 25-22.

The following day we played Tufts at 2pm, followed by our MCVB family dinner at Flatbread.  The match was a back and forth, tightly contested match, but also saw both teams go on stretches where they were more dominant with Tufts winning the first set 25-17 and MIDD taking the second 25-14.  Set three was closer, but MIDD couldn't quite come up with the win, losing 25-22, but again in the 4th set, we pulled away for a 25-17 win, forcing the final 5th set.  Tied 9-9, we ran out of time to overcomeTufts final push, losing 11-15.  It was a great match, but unfortunately, we came up on the short end of that final set.  Former player, Whitney Bean Stewart was in town that weekend for her brother's soccer game, so we got to catch up a bit at Flatbread, which was great!

In what proved to be a very nice, long home stand, we played at home again the following weekend after a mid-week away match at Skidmore.  In that match, we easily swept a team that we hadn't seen since the first weekend of the season, which had a similar outcome as well.

To finish our home stand, we faced both Amherst and Williams, with whom we were in a three way tie for 2nd in NESCAC coming into the weekend.  Amherst was our first opponent on Friday night, and we came out firing on all fronts and easily won 25-15.  Amherst wouldn't go down easily, coming back to win the 2nd set 25-21 before we closed them out in the next two sets 25-19, and 25-16 for the match win.

Saturday afternoon we celebrated Senior Day before our Williams match.  Hannah, Gabi, Charlotte and Melanie were honored and presented with flowers before the match.  Everyone but Charlotte had at least one parent here, which was great, and Brian and Meg stepped in as Charlotte's "parents".  We opened up the first set with a 25-21 win.  Similar to the night before, Williams was definitely not going down without a fight as they handled us to even the match winning set two 25-18.  Set three saw us get a 5 point lead in the middle of the set, but Williams closed the gap to two 20-18 before we made our final push to take the 3rd set 25-20, and a 2-1 lead in the match.  The final set was started out very close as we clung to a 9-8 lead before going on a 12-1 run to blow the set wide open.  While we were up 21-9, we had trouble closing out the final set as Williams came storming back behind several kills by Williams senior Jasuta, bringing them all the way back to match point down 24-20 before Isabel got a kill down the line for the match win.

Hannah had a fun surprise visitor as her HS coach who's now retired came to see her play!  She hadn't gotten to see her play in college, and so planned this trip to surprise her for senior day!  How fun!  She'd never been to this part of the country before and was enjoying the scenery as well as getting to see Hannah play again (and was impressed)!  After the match, the senior parents bought some cupcakes, and Melanie's mom gave each of the girls a framed picture of all four team pictures in a vertical frame for their MCVB memories.  So nice!  It was great to see all of the family support here both weekends, so thank you all for coming out to support us!!

Now, this weekend we're off to Boston to play in the New England Challenge where we'll play Babson Friday night, and then both Springfield and MIT on Saturday.  GO MIDD!!

Friday, October 7, 2016

MIDD Tallies 3 Key Regional Wins Last Weekend

Last weekend was the first of a string of big weekends for us as we are headed into the meat of our Season.  We played Conn on Friday night, and then had a tri-match with Babson and UMass Boston, who was then #1 in New England.

BEFORE the weekend, however, we celebrated a big birthday for Brian on Thursday!  This big birthday meant I actually baked a home made cake, and the team highlighted the celebration with a list of the "Top 10 Things We Love About Brian!"  For a guy with a big sweet tooth, he said that list was even better than cake--nice job, ladies!

On Friday, we got off to a slow start against Conn on Friday night, dropping the first set, but powered back to take the next three straight sets for the 3-1 victory.  We had a trip in between sites, however, since we were playing in Boston the next day, so we had our picnic dinner en route on the bus, which was a new challenge.  A highlight of the weekend, in addition to our wins of course, was our home-made breakfast at Beth's house on Saturday morning!

It turned out that a home made breakfast was exactly what we needed as we went on to beat both Babson and UMass Boston that afternoon!  Babson was a tough match back and forth as we won the first and third sets heading into the 4th up 2-1 in sets.  We battled back and forth again, and found ourselves down 22-24 trying to stave off a 5th set.  After a time out to break the momentum, we sided out, sending Becca to the service line, where we then scored the next four points for the match victory 26-24.

UMass Boston played Babson before we did as both visiting teams played back to back, but our conditioning paid off for us as we maintained our strength and power into the 5th and deciding set of a long match.  After taking the first set 25-22, we lost the next two by only scoring 17 and 15 points respectively.  We regained our composure and momentum by taking the fourth set by a similar convincing margin 25-17, forcing the deciding 5th set.  We found ourselves down 0-4 to start the 5th set, and down 3-7 before siding out to bring Chellsa to the service line down 4-7.  She then served the next 11 serves in a row to take us to match point up 14-7 before they sided out on her 11th serve!  Isabel notched 7 kills in our last 12 points, including match point, and Chellsa had one ace in that stretch for the 15-9 win!

It was a long, tough weekend, but it was rewarding as we continue to improve and work on all things TEAM heading into the heart of our season!  We did a yoga class on Monday in place of practice to help take care of our bodies before getting back to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday leading into a big Conference weekend at home!

It's Parent's Weekend this weekend when we'll face both Bowdoin and Tufts in key Conference matches.  8pm tonight vs Bowdoin, and 2pm tomorrow vs Tufts, followed by Melanie's Phi Beta Kappa ceremony and then our Parent's Weekend Dinner at Flatbread!  Big weekend of FUN!  GO MIDD!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

MCVB Rolls On with Four More Wins

I'm a little behind, so we started our home stand last week on Tuesday night vs St. Mikes.  It was a match of strings, swinging both in our favor and against.  The 2nd set was the closest of the match, having to come from behind to pull out a 25-23 win.  After that, I think we wore them down and we finished off the final set quickly with a 25-12 win.  It was great to see us start to come together, which hopefully will be a trend that continues.  Chellsa continues to run the offense and serve tough.  Isabel led the team with 13 kills with the hot hand, followed by Alice with 9 kills and no errors--both hit well over .300!  Mel also had a no error night with 4 kills on 7 swings for a .571 night, and Chellsa chipped in with three kills of her own.  Gigi made her first appearance and did a great job.  All in all, it was a good team win.

That weekend was Homecoming, and we had two more home games for a three game Home Stand last week.  It was great to be home for homecoming!!  There was so much going on, and we got to be a part of it, for once!  We started it all off with a 3-0 sweep of Hamilton on Friday night.  A very close first set was followed by two more that featured us more in the drivers seat.

On Saturday, Football, Soccer, Soccer, and Field Hockey all played Bowdoin, coming away with 3/4 WINS.  At halftime of the football game, our President Laurie Patton honored our women's lacrosse team by presenting them with their National Championship rings, and then we finished off the day with a 3-0 sweep of St. Lawrence where Beth made her first appearance on the court, which was great.  She got immediately in on the action blocking a ball back and recording a dig.

The Panther made an appearance at our game on Saturday, which was FUN!  Love the Panther (and who was in it!)  We had an alumnae game, sort of, in the morning before all of the other action outside, but it was a gorgeous day for all of the activity, and then we had a quick pizza party after our match with some of our alums and the team. 

Last night, we bested Colby-Sawyer in three straight sets in just over an hour, which was good to see.  Becca and Sarah both had zero error nights with 10 kills on 25 swings for a .400 hitting %, and 6 K on 10 swings for .600 respectively.  Alice also had a zero error night with 2 kills on 4 swings in only a few rotations for a very efficient night!  Mel led the team in blocks with 4, while Isabel and Sarah both chipped in 2.  Hannah returned to the court partially, which was great to see, and Chellsa continues to run the offense and lead the team in service aces!  

We're off to New London, CT on Friday night to face off with Conn College as our lone Conference match this weekend.  We'll then head to Boston to play both UMass Boston and Babson.  It should be a great weekend of volleyball as UMass Boston is currently ranked 1st in New England, and both Conn and Babson are in the top 15.  We're excited to play some of the region's best and see where we stack up!  Let's GO MCVB!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

MCVB Splits First NESCAC Weekend

We had our first weekend trip with our full team, which was nice.  We headed to Hartford, CT to play Trinity on Friday night and Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.  We arrived early at Trinity, despite trying to leave at the right time, allowing everyone to stay in class and get lunch beforehand, but it was fun stretching our legs walking around the campus before having to play.  Our only freshman to play this weekend was Chellsa, who started her college debut with a service ace, which was fun to see, and we tested out our 6-2 offense. 

I felt we had a very good first NESCAC match, meaning it was close and we had to stay composed and come from behind in at least one set to pull out a win.  The 2nd set went to extra points before we got the win 27-25, and in the 3rd set, we got out to a large lead, but in typical NESCAC fashion, Trinity stormed back and made the third set a hard fought battle.  We regained our control and pulled out the straight set victory with a 25-20 final set score.  Our hitting % was .309 as Mel, Alice, Isabel, Sarah and Eliana were all over .300!  Here's the link to the Trinity Stats.

The hotel was very nice, and playing at 2pm Saturday allows us a relaxing start to the day after being able to recover and sleep in a bit also.  We found a DD, which is always fun, and we got a short walk in to get there, so that was nice also. 

Wesleyan proved to be a tough contender as we played our first 5 set match.  We're still finding our groove, which looks good at times, and needs polishing at times, which is to be expected this time of year.  Looking at the game metrics, it was a very even match minus one stat:  blocking.  Here are the Wesleyan Stats.  They seemed to have our number a bit, which forced our hitters to find other options--a very good exercise, which we definitely improved upon as the match progressed, but not quite enough to pull out the victory.  As long as we learn from this setback, we'll  keep improving and keep moving forward, which is our daily goal!

We'll continue our quest at improvement this week with a full week of Home Volleyball.  We're back on the court Wednesday for our Home Opener against St. Mikes at 7pm, and again on Friday night at 8pm vs Hamilton, and Saturday at 5pm vs St. Lawrence.  If you're in the area, come on out to see us play all week in Pepin Gymnasium!  Homecoming is Saturday, so there are fun activities all weekend long both in the Gym and all over campus!  Come join in!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Melanie Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

Senior Melanie English was recently elected to Phi Beta Kappa based on her work through junior year.  This a very distinguished academic honor, and we are very proud of our Mel!  Only 13 seniors were elected, 5 of whom were athletes.

Nice job MIDD athletes, and congrats to Melanie!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Welcoming Our New Team Members!

In a team ceremony yesterday, the captains welcomed our newest team members by presenting them with their MIDD Jerseys!

 #15 is Gigi Alper, a defensive specialist from Mill Valley, CA.  She is the younger sister of Lauren Alper '16 for those that know our Program history!

 #16 is Beth Neal, a right side hitter from Franklin, MA who is also planning on joining the Track and Field team here at MIDD.

#20 is Chellsa Ferdinand, a setter from Queens, NY who was already featured in a post on our instragram from this summer along with Gigi for their spring/summer volleyball endeavors with club/beach volleyball!

Lastly, pictured to the left we welcome our Team Manager, who is from CA and was a February Freshman last year.  While this will be her second semester at MIDD, it'll be her first Fall with us!  She's already figured out how to use the iPad for our stats program, and will be traveling with us when she can, which will be great.  She helps out a ton in practice tossing balls, keeping score, and taking stats!

WELCOME you four!!  We're excited to get started this weekend, and are sorry that our Freshmen can't travel with us, but they'll be off having fun with Orientation activities of various kinds!

Let's GO MCVB 2016!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 Season Begins!

The 2016 season has begun, and I'm already behind on my posts!  I'm going to recap all of pre season right now, and then hope to keep everyone caught up on our season going forward.

We're also posting on instagram @middvb, and also Facebook on a page titled Middlebury College Women's Volleyball, so when I figure out how to properly link them all in one place, I'll get those links here on the Blog for easy access to all things MCVB!

Our season started on August 29th when everyone moved in, and we gathered for the first time at my house for the season opening Team BBQ! We were missing Claire, who had RA duties that day, but were joined by our Faculty Affiliate, Pat Manley, and our Trainer, Judd Mackey and his family, some of whom made the picture.  I think only one of my kids actually made the picture (Lois), and neither of Brian's girls made it as they're all (except for Max) teenagers now!

After the BBQ, we had a day of "administrative details" where we sign forms, do some team bonding activities, and talk about things we need to talk about, ranging from team expectations, goals and team culture,  to anti-hazing, NCAA forms, Green Dot, and the campus culture.

And, then, we started practicing, which included several days of double sessions, and some extra "fitness" which may or may not have included running hills and resting in cool mountain streams.  Doubles culminated last night in an inter-squad scrimmage.
Today was the first real day of not having double sessions, so we celebrated with a shorter practice followed by a "lollygagging session" in the pool!  This of course included spelling out MCVB by both floating (which wasn't as readable from above), and then mostly standing to form the letters, which was much easier to read.  There was some "Martha Washington" hairdos and some diving in the deep end that didn't make the team blog, but I think the pool session was a very positive and needed break!

 We're headed to Union College on Friday to play four matches (SUNY Oneonta, Skidmore, Union and Susquehanna).  Unfortunately, we won't have our freshmen with us as they finish up Orientation with trips of various kinds this weekend, but then we'll all be back together for a week of practice before our first NESCAC weekend on Sept. 16-17.


Monday, July 25, 2016

MIDD Honored by AVCA for Team Academic Excellence

The AVCA has come out with their Team Academic Awards for the 2015-16 school year.   MIDD Volleyball has achieved this award for academic excellence every year since we started applying for it, which is quite impressive in my opinion.  With a Team GPA of a 3.6, I'm very proud of these young women!  Way to go, Team!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Belated (and partial) Update from Our Juniors Abroad

I'm a little late with my updates from our juniors abroad, but I'm trying to catch up on sharing a bit about their adventures with everyone, so here goes:

Mel was in Cordoba, Spain, and had a fabulous time.  She even emailed me a bit in Spanish, but I think that means she was loving her time there!  :)  She wrote that she'd visited the Mezquita a few times (although, I'm honestly not sure what/where that is), and said the city itself was a beautiful mix of ancient and more modern streets and architecture with a lot of orange trees making the air fragrant when walking down the streets.

 She also said that winter there is like early summer in VT, which is pretty nice, I'd think.  She also did some traveling to places like Malaga, and commented that she enjoyed watching shows like Law & Order dubbed over in Spanish.

Hannah was in India and even played some volleyball with her school for a month or so until their season ended, which was fun!  She was studying Hindi and Urdu (which she said was close to being Hindi, just in the Arabic script), in addition to taking Indian history and an Indian authors writing in English class.  She commented on the pollution in Delhi and the trouble that she and other students had breathing when trying to exercise outside which was appalling to hear, but interesting in a weird sort of way.  (Thank goodness for the clean VT air!)  A highlight for Hannah was eating the delicious food there, and also getting to travel around.  I think she went to Himachal and Darjeeling, which she said were beautiful natural places at the foothills of the Himalayas--very cool.  She's now living and working back at MIDD for the summer and is working out with Alice, who's also working at MIDD for the summer.  

In the next installment of "what I did while studying abroad", we'll highlight both Gabi and Charlotte, so stay tuned!  Happy Summer everyone!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Middlebury Maple Run Features Family and Friends

The Middlebury Maple Run is tagged as "Vermont's sweetest half marathon and relay."  It's a great run, and is becoming a destination run, which is great for the town and the State.  I'm late in posting this, as it's scheduled during the Spring sugaring season.  The weather didn't exactly cooperate this year, but it looked like everyone was having a great time anyway, and it was nice running weather, really.

Lizzy's parents both came up and ran with her, which was awesome.  A half marathon is just a good workout day for this FIT Family!  I think they could all run full marathons, as Lizzy is preparing to do this summer as part of her Ironman Triathalon! :)
And, Kathryn got her friend Mary to do the race with her, or at least part of it.  Kathryn has been very active with the Special Olympics all four years here, and she convinced Mary that she could do this!  Kathryn and Mary did it as a relay, although Kathryn did the whole thing by running the first half, and then walking and jogging the last half with Mary.  Great job, ladies!!  I'm so proud of Mary for finishing, and Kathryn for encouraging and supporting Mary with her goal!  Excellent job, everyone.  Way to represent, MCVB family!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Graduation 2016, 3 Cum Laude Seniors, and Tradition

It's Graduation time, and we had three members of the MCVB family graduate this year, ALL of whom graduated Cum Laude!  Well done Kathryn, Katie and Lauren--that's quite impressive! (The picture to the left is the standard one on the website, not of any of our MCVB grads.)

Gamaliel Painter's Cane has a rich tradition here at MIDD, and Professor Jim Ralph has recorded the history behind the man and his cane, which is the first link below.  There was also a recent article in the Associated Press about the maker of the replica canes that they now hand out at graduation, so I'm attaching the link to that article as well.  For years we've passed "the" cane around during Freshmen Convocation, but now the tradition has taken a new curve, and it's very cool.  I've also included a link to the commencement speaches, in case anyone is curious!  I hope you enjoy the brief histories!

Gamaliel Painter's Cane

The making of the new Painter's Cane replicas

Article from the MIDD Magazine titled "Raising Canes"

Commencement speaches/video

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring Fun at Relay for Life and Jen's On Tap Performance

Relay for Life is a wonderful event, and has actually changed a lot since they started doing it over a decade ago here at MIDD.  This year it was up on campus for the first time ever, and I think it was a success.  It has been out behind the Athletic Complex, or in the Hockey Arena every year before this, so this was a first.

We walked the "Battell Loop" and enjoyed sunshine, friends, teammates, family, and community while raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.  Cancer is one of those diseases that has touched us all in one way or another, I think. We actually had a great team turnout, but I missed taking a picture when the whole group was there, but I did get these three to pose in the Relay Frame for me!

That same evening, Jen performed with her "On Tap" Dance group.  What an amazing show that was.  Jen is very talented (no surprise!), and it was a joy to get to see her perform!  The picture below I took with my camera phone, so unfortunately it's grainy because I tried to zoom in, but Jen is front and center on stage!

Here are some other pictures from our Relay day back in April:

 Several athletes in this group with Emily, along with other friends who helped support the cause.  Both Matt and Jack helped organize the day, so well done, guys!  Below, they all got into the spirit by participating with the Zumba Dance!

 Isabel was becoming Captain America in this picture!  I'm just sorry I didn't see the final product.  :)
Here we had the hockey team doing the "Relay" as it was intended back in the beginning.  The original idea was that you would form a team, and someone from your team would be walking ALL the time Relay for Life was taking place, which used to be from 6pm-8am the next day.  The hockey team just kept handing their beads to the next group of guys, and each group made a different pattern with their beads to mark their laps.  Very creative.  Nice job, fellas!