Volleyball wins opener behind thrilling fourth set victory

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Colby College first-year Julia Hutchings had a memorable collegiate debut with 12 kills, a .333 hitting percentage, and three service aces in the Mules' 3-1 win over Maine Maritime Academy on Wednesday at Wadsworth Gymnasium.

The Mules won by set scores of 17-25, 25-15, 25-12, 29-27. Colby moves to 1-0 overall, while the Mariners lost for the first time and are 3-1.
 
“I was very proud of how this team consistently showed great composure especially down the stretch," Colby head coach Candice Parent said. "I know we can play a lot better, but for our first match of the season I'm really pleased with how well we played together."
 
Colby senior Paige Hanssen also had a big night with a match-high 14 kills and three blocks. Elizabeth Middlebrook finished with seven kills and a match-high five service aces. 
 
Molly Manuel led the Mules in assists with 22 and teammate Katie Devine had five. Erin Maidman led the Mules with 25 defensive digs and three assists. Nicole Petherbridge had three blocks.
 
Jessica D'Auria led the Mariners with eight kills, eight digs, and four service aces. Sydney Adams finished with 22 assists, seven digs, and six kills. Avery O'Neal and Alexa Cacacie both had five kills.
 
After three sets without a close one, the teams had the fans at Wadsworth Gymnasium on their feet in the fourth set. After a timeout with the score 25-25, the Mariners came up with the next point to come one away from a fifth set. Colby, however, scored three of the next four points to close out the match.
 
The Mules play at Endicott College on Friday at 6 p.m.
 
Photos by Dean Denis