Volleyball Wins Two, but Drops One Game to Conference Rival Tufts
Issue   |   Tue, 09/20/2016 - 22:24

The Amherst volleyball team had a busy week with three matches including its first two conference games of the season. This past week’s action started with a midweek match against Western New England University. The purple and white swept the Golden Bears (25-23, 25-13, 25-19) in the Wednesday night match-up.

Emily Kolsky ’20 led Amherst offensively with 12 kills. Maggie Danner ’17 followed close behind the first year outside hitter with 11 kills. The duo of Danner and Kolsky have provided the purple and white with a dangerous offensive threat, and the Firedogs look to utilize this offensive team moving forward this season.

Charlotte Duran ’20 also put up an impressive offensive performance with 16 assists. Four players, Danner, Mia Natsis ’18, Claire Dennis ’20 and Lauren Reppert ’20 added a block each. Kate Bres ’17 and Hayes Honea ’19 had 10 digs apiece in the winning effort.

Following its Wednesday victory, the purple and white traveled to Brunswick, Maine on Friday to take on Bowdoin. The Amherst women topped Bowdoin 3-1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19) in their NESCAC opener. The one set that Amherst lost saw four lead changes, with the purple and white offense battling against an impressive Bowdoin defensive line. However, it was not quite enough to hold the Polar Bears off and Bowdoin managed to take the win.

Despite the setback, the Firedogs bounced back and returned strong in the third set. In the victory over Bowdoin, Kolsky once again played a key offensive role with 12 kills. Honea had an equally impressive performance on the floor with 29 digs, while Natsis led the team with four blocks. Senior captain Bres continued to put up impressive stats with 18 assists, while Duran led the purple and white with 20 assists.

Amherst closed out the eventful week with a final match in Medford, Massachusetts where the Firedog women took on Tufts. Although all three sets were tightly contested, the purple and white dropped its second conference game against the Jumbos in a 3-0 (21-25, 17-25, 27-29) sweep. While each set had spectators on the edge of their sets, the third and final set in particular was a thriller.

The Amherst women started out the set strong, quickly pulling ahead of Tufts 7-3. The purple and white held the lead for the majority of the match but the Jumbos stayed composed and slowly chipped away at the Firedog’s early lead. Tufts ultimately secured the win on an Amherst service error.

In the team’s last match of the week, Kolsky finished strong, pacing the offensive with 10 kills. Natsis’ five blocks led the Amherst defense once again, and a consistently agile Honea continued to lead the team in digs, totaling 15. Duran and Bres worked in tandem offensively, providing 15 and 13 assists respectively.

“Coming off of a win at our home opener, we were super pumped to take on Bowdoin,” Honea said. “Though Williams is obviously our biggest rival, Bowdoin is a huge NESCAC enemy as well. Our enthusiasm translated into our play, and we are very proud of our win on Friday. Though we suffered a loss to Tufts on Saturday, we are optimistic as we continue to improve as a unit.”

The team will continue action at home against Colby-Sawyer on Wednesday, Sept. 21. On Friday, Sept. 23, the purple and white take on rival Williams at home in LeFrak. Amherst will finish out this week’s play at an invitational at Clark University on Saturday, Sept. 24 where they will take on Babson University and host Clark.