Firedogs Take Down Coast Guard 3-2
Issue   |   Wed, 09/28/2011 - 02:35
Alec Jacobson '12
Claire Hoffman ’14 racked up a season-high 11 kills to help the Jeffs defeat Coast Guard on Sunday.

Say what you will about the volleyball team, but it certainly know how to make things dramatic.

The Firedogs saved their best for last this weekend, storming back from a 2-0 deficit to stun Coast Guard, in five sets (13-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-8) and finish the 2011 Amherst Classic on a high note. A day earlier, the ladies jumped ahead early en route to a 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-22) shutout of Brandeis.

Playing in just their second home game of the season against Brandeis, Amherst treated the crowd to a relatively comfortable victory.

Amherst dominated the first set, at one point leading 20-9 before putting the set away. Spectators could be forgiven for thinking they were witnessing a repeat performance in the second set, as the Firedogs jumped out to a 19-11 lead and again didn’t look back.

As has been the case all season, the final set proved to be a bit more difficult for the team. The score remained close until the very end, with the Firedogs able to put together a run after going down 20-19 to prevail. Cristy Meier ’12 led the team with 12 kills, and Lauren Antion ’15 chipped in with nine kills.

Kristin Keeno ’13 kept points alive for the Jeffs with 20 digs, while Callie Neilson ’13 directed the offense with 34 assists. With the win, the team evened up their conference record and moved into a three-way tie for fifth place in the NESCAC.
On Sunday, the team faced a Coast Guard team fresh off the 3-0 victory over Brandeis. The Bears picked up where they left off, establishing an early lead that was never threatened despite Amherst’s best efforts. The hot start continued into the second set, where the Firedogs kept it much closer but in the end didn’t have enough to keep pace with the Bears.

Entering the third set, things looked grim: Amherst hadn’t come back from a 2-0 deficit in over a year, while Coast Guard had already won four matches 3-0 this year.

The Firedogs, however, avoided falling into an early hole and opened up a six-point lead that they would hold throughout the set.

With their backs still up against the wall, the Jeffs opened the fourth set strongly but shortly found themselves down 10-9. Clutch hitting from Claire Hoffman ’14 helped the team pull itself together again, and the ladies rode Keeno and Meier down the stretch to pull away.

After a dramatic fourth set, the tiebreaker was drama-free, as the Firedogs opened up a 3-1 lead and never looked back. Hoffman ended up with a season-high 11 kills, while Meier once again led the team with 15 kills. With the win, the team improved to 8-2 and kept pace in the highly competitive NESCAC, where four other teams have at least eight wins.

The Firedogs’ 69 digs against Coast Guard continued their pattern of strong defense, as they are fourth-best in the NESCAC with 17.11 digs per game. Keeno leads the league with 6.81 digs per game and added 30 digs in five sets against Coast Guard.
The Jeffs also defeated Skidmore 3-2 Tuesday night. Meier had a team-high 18 kills to drive the offense. Check out our website at for further details.

The Firedogs travel up to Vt. next weekend to face Middlebury and Keene State.