Volleyball Earns Two NESCAC Victories Over the Weekend
Issue   |   Wed, 10/07/2015 - 00:34
Janna Joassainte '17
Sophomore outside hitter Asha Walker led the Jeffs with 11 digs in the team’s win over Bates on Saturday afternoon.

Amherst women’s volleyball enjoyed another successful week, finishing Colby 3-0 in less than an hour in LeFrak Gymnasium Friday night and repeating the sweep the next afternoon with a 3-0 win over Bates.

The Firedogs came ou t strong in the first set on Friday after dropping the first two points to the Mules. Gaining momentum and never looking back, the team rallied for 11 unanswered points, highlighted by several key kills from Nicole Gould ’16, Lizzie Ahern ’16 and Mia Natsis ’18, and an impressive service ace from Kelci Keeno ’17.

The pressure from the Jeffs forced a timeout by a previously undefeated Colby squad, but Gould came right back at them with a cross-court kill, putting the Jeffs up 12-2.

The purple and white dominated the rest of the match. Highlights included two assisted blocks by Maggie Danner ’17, great reads on the Mules’ defense from Natsis and Gould up front, and several spectacular digs from first-year Hayes Honea. The match was a quick one, ending 25-10 with the Firedogs pumped up for another chance.

The second set saw Colby win the first point, but they were quickly shut down with another service ace from Keeno followed by a powerful kill from Gould that the Mules simply couldn’t handle.

With the Jeffs in control of the match once again, the Firedogs had a field day, playing to their team and individual strengths and thoroughly entertaining a good-sized crowd on a Friday night.

Honea dished up two service aces in the second set alongside the team’s only other first-year, Lauren Reppert, who came in and, making a great read on defense, added a kill for her first play of the game. Danner and Natsis continued to impress up front, both going cross-court for kills that helped to shut down Colby 25-12.

The third set was the closest of the three for the first several minutes. Amherst came out strong once again with big kills from Lizzie Ahern ’16 and service aces from Newby and Honea.

Colby showed some resistance in the first half of the match until the Firedogs took the momentum and never looked back. Danner, Gould and Annika Reczek ’18 served up back-to-back kills, while Danner stayed tough at the net, allowing Colby no room for error. The match was capped with two huge kills from Gould to end it 25-9.

Following up Friday’s quick victory, the Jeffs were back in action at LeFrak Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. This time they faced Bates, who came into the match at 2-2 in NESCAC play, suffering losses to Colby and Williams. Still feeling the energy from Friday night’s win, the Firedogs jumped out to an early lead over the Bobcats, putting up four early unanswered points. Some major kills by Ahern and Gould and several miscues by the Bates offense sustained the effort by the purple and white. Newby helped to finish off the set with several cross-court kills that the Bobcats couldn’t handle, along with a late service ace from Keeno.

The second set started off with a strong kill from Danner and a service ace by Keeno, along with an error by the Bobcats to put the Jeffs up 3-0.

The set was back and forth, with offensive mistakes and strong kills from both sides of the court. Ultimately, Gould, Newby and Jennifer Mackinnon ’18 led the Jeffs with strong play up front to a 25-16 victory.

The final set for the Jeffs saw seven tie scores and a deadlock from the two teams at 20. Back-to-back kills by Ahern and two service aces by Carter took the Jeffs up 24-20 before Ahern put the exclamation point on the match with a final kill to seal the game for the Jeffs 25-20.

Gould and Ahern highlighted the Amherst victory over Bates with nine and eight kills respectively. Warshaw and Walker led the team with 11 digs apiece, with Honea adding 10 to the effort. The Jeffs were tough at the net again on Saturday, registering nine total blocks led by Newby and Ahern.

The Jeffs will face a tough three games this coming week, returning to LeFrak on Wednesday night in non-conference action against Westfield State. Then the Firedogs hit the road for the weekend, facing an 11-2 Middlebury team on Friday and a struggling 3-10 Hamilton squad on Saturday in NESCAC play.