The volleyball team came back from a 2-1 deficit to finish the weekend on a high note Sunday, defeating Keene State 3-2 at Middlebury. In Saturday’s action, however, the Firedogs fell to a strong Middlebury team 3-0.
With Sunday’s win — their second over Keene this year — the team improved to 10-3 overall.
Amherst and Middlebury were tied in NESCAC standings heading into Saturday’s conference matchup, with both teams having performed similarly against Tufts and Wesleyan. The Jeffs were ranked ninth in the New England Women’s Volleyball Association Div. III Regional poll, while the Panthers lagged behind at 14th.
Rankings aside, however, the Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match and were at one point leading 16-6 in the third set.
The Firedogs limited Middlebury outside hitter and 2010 NESCAC Player of the Year Jane Handel to just one kill in her return from injury, but the Panthers outperformed Amherst on the offensive end, hitting .268 as a team and recording more kills and assists.
The Firedogs struggled to put away points, hitting a woeful .009 as a team. Lauren Antion ’15 led the team with eight kills while hitting an efficient .357.
The senior captains racked up the majority of the team’s other kills, with seven, six and four kills for Cristy Meier, KC Kanoff and Mary Reiser, respectively. Kristin Keeno ’13 had a game-high 24 digs.
Sunday’s opponent was a familiar one: the Firedogs beat Keene State 3-1 almost a month ago, dropping the first set before winning three straight to close out the match.
Amherst started out as the stronger team this time around, winning the first set 25-20. But the Firedogs lost their momentum, and found themselves losing after dropping the next two sets 19-25 and 12-25.
They rallied behind strong hitting to win the fourth 25-15, as a .263 hitting percentage helped them pull away. They then put away the tie-breaker 15-10 to spoil the Owls’ bid for revenge, hitting a match-best .333.
Kanoff finished with 12 kills to lead the team, with Antion and Meier adding 10 and eight kills, respectively.
Antion also served four aces in the match. Keeno had 22 digs and continues to lead the NESCAC in digs per game. Kanoff added 15 digs, while Claire Hoffman ’14 tallied eight. Setter Callie Neilson ’13 racked up 10 digs as well as 41 assists.
The team returns to action Wednesday against Western New England University before traveling to Medford for the weekend to take on Connecticut College and Tufts.