WATERVILLE, Maine -The Middlebury College Women's Volleyball team defeated
Williams College to become champions of the New England Small College Athletic
Conference (NESCAC) on Saturday afternoon at Colby College. Leading the
way for Middlebury was sophomore middle hitter Amy Lowell (Chester, N.H./Pinkerton
Academy) who was named NESCAC Tournament MVP for her part in helping the
Lady Panthers to their second title in as many years.
The third-seeded Lady Panthers carried a 21-5 record into the tournament,
helping them to a first-round bye. Middlebury defeated second-round foe
Trinity College in convincing fashion, winning 3-0 and advancing to the
semi-finals where they would face the number two seed Amherst College.
Amherst, who entered tied with Williams for the league's best record
at 25-4, beat tournament host Colby College in their second round match-up
to earn a semi-final berth. Middlebury, unfazed however, breezed past the
Lady Jeffs by a score of 3-0 to move into the finals, earning a rematch
with 1997 runner-up Williams.
A hard fought battle in the final match saw Middlebury take an early
lead, winning the first game 15-5. Williams would respond, however, taking
the next two games 15-5 and 17-15, hoping to avoid becoming the runner-up
for the third straight year. The Lady Panthers would not be denied though
as they mustered the strength to win the final two games and remain the
defending NESCAC champion.
Third place went to Amherst, who knocked off Tufts University by a
score of 3-0. Rounding out the top five was Trinity, who defeated Bates,
Earning All-Tournament Team honors were Leslie Edwards, Middlebury;
Amy Greifenstein, Williams; Vicki Gonzalez, Amherst; Kate Hagstrom, Bates;
Samantha Good, Bowdoin; Randi Martin, Colby; Olga Samborska, Connecticut
College; Heather Onderick, Hamilton; Beth Landry, Trinity; Angela Yost,
Tufts; and Alexis Keeler, Wesleyan.
The weekend also saw the naming of the All-NESCAC teams. Honorable
mentions went to Reagan Carey of Colby, Katie Ford of Williams, Megan Konieczny
of Trinity, Leslie Pao of Wesleyan, Christin Whitcraft of Williams, and
Natasha Wilson of Trinity. The members of the Second Team were Nell Berens
of Amherst, Amanda Cuiffo of Colby, Meredith DeMorales of Amherst, Christine
Knox of Middlebury, Jessica Stewart of Tufts, and Angela Yost of Tufts.
Named to the First Team were Ashley Chase of Wesleyan, Amanda Colby of
Bates, Kristin Edgar of Amherst, Amy Griefenstein of Williams, Kate Hagstrom
of Bates, and Dawn Trowbridge of Middlebury. The NESCAC Rookie of the Year
was Tufts' Jessica Stewart, and garnering Player of the Year honors for
the second year in a row was Williams' Amy Griefenstein.
NESCAC Volleyball Championship Official Results
(Tournament is single elimination with consolation bracket)
Day One (Friday, November 6th)
Game 1 - #8 Wesleyan def. #9 Hamilton 3-2 (15-9, 7-15, 15-9, 12-15,