Hamilton College's Giuliana Rankin '20 smashed a match-high 15 kills in the Continentals' three-set NESCAC loss to the Middlebury College Panthers and catapulted herself into fifth place on the program's all-time list with 837 career kills at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Saturday.
Hamilton concludes the regular season with a 10-13 overall record and is seeded eighth for the NESCAC Championship with a 3-7 record in conference play. The Continentals will take on top-seeded Tufts University in the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. in Medford, Mass. The Jumbos are ranked 14th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll.
Middlebury (14-9, 6-4 NESCAC) won the match by set scores of 29-27, 25-15 and 25-12. The Panthers earned the fifth seed in next weekend's NESCAC Championship and will face fourth-seeded Amherst on Friday night.
Rankin boasted a .414 hitting percentage and continues to lead the NESCAC with an average of 3.70 kills per set. She also ranks second in the conference with 285 kills. Deirdre Corrigan '23 helped out the offense with eight kills and Dorothy Poucher '21 had five. Emma Parkhurst '21 handed out 26 assists and served up three aces. Nikki Matsuoka '21 finished with 17 digs.
Maggie Wise led a balanced Middlebury output with 10 kills, while Corley Doyle and Shea Golden added nine apiece. Chellsa Ferdinand and Emma Walsh handed out 18 assists apiece, Gigi Alper had a team-high 16 digs and Lucy Ambach had three blocks at the net.
There were 16 ties in a back-and-forth first set that included a 27-27 deadlock when the Panthers utilized a Continentals attack error and a kill by Jaime Donnelly to grab a one-set lead.
The battle continued at the beginning of the second set until Middlebury put together a 12-1 run for a 22-11 advantage. Kills by Maddy LaPoint '22, Rankin and Corrigan put Hamilton within 10 points at 24-14, but a kill by Doyle finished the set.
Middlebury grabbed a 9-6 lead in the third set and scored six of the next seven points for a comfortable 15-7 cushion. The Panthers capitalized on a .536 hitting percentage in the final set and cruised to victory.