The Lady Jeffs started their season off right with three consecutive 3-0 victories as they prepare to enter NESCAC play.
Saturday, Sept. 8, saw the Lady Jeffs record wins over the Univ. of St. Joseph and Mt. Holyoke, extending their winning streak in season-opening matches to nine.
Playing at Mt. Holyoke, the Amherst squad cruised to wins in both matches, sweeping all six sets on the day and never allowing more than 17 points in a single set. Against St. Joseph, the Jeffs surrendered only 22 total points, dropping the Blue Jays to 1-5 on the season.
Their defense was similarly stingy against the host Lyons, holding them to 29 points and bumping them to 1-1 on the year.
It was the Jeffs’ first-years who stole the show; Nicole Carter ’16 tallied 20 assists in her collegiate debut, while Katie Warshaw ’16 set the pace with nine digs against the Blue Jays. Lizzie Ahern ’16 racked up eight kills against Holyoke, trailing only co-captain Emily Waterhouse ’13 in that category.
Fellow first-year Sammy Newby chipped in with a total of eight kills on the day. Katie Wershaw ’16 also performed well, leading the Jeffs with nine digs against St. Joseph and, playing in a different role, racking up 17 assists against the Lyons.
In that game, the Jeffs’ seniors also showed their potential: besides Waterhouse, Callie Nelson ’13 tallied 13 assists, while Kristin Keeno ’13 anchored the back line with 11 digs.
Three days later (Sept. 11), the Lady Jeffs picked up right where they left off, defeating Emerson in straight sets (25-21, 25-16, 25-12).
Once again, Ahern demonstrated that she is already a dominant player, leading the Amherst squad with an impressive 14 kills. Carter led the way with 27 assists in addition to her 11 digs; co-captain Abigail Hunter ’13 also made her presence felt, contributing seven kills to go along with only one error.
The Lady Jeffs never trailed over the course of the match, again displaying their ability to control a game from start to finish.
Following their strong start, the youth-led Lady Jeffs begin conference play this weekend as they look to contend for their first title in six years. The squad will play a pair of road contests, traveling to Bowdoin on Friday, Sept. 14 before returning to Medford, Mass. to take on the Jumbos the following day.