Volleyball Easily Handles Williams, 3-1, to Halt Four Game Skid
Issue   |   Fri, 10/20/2017 - 02:13
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Emily Kolsky ‘20 has put together a strong campaign with 223 kills this fall, which makes her best on the team and second-best in the NESCAC.

The Amherst College women’s volleyball team snapped a four-game losing streak this weekend with a NESCAC win over Williams.

Before facing off with Williams, however, the Firedogs endured two tough away losses against strong opponents: Clark University and Hamilton.

Against the Clark Cougars, Amherst played well in an evenly contested match, but dropped a tight first two sets and ultimately fell 3-1 (17-25, 21-25, 25-12, 20-25). In the third set, the Firedogs showed tenacity and grit to avoid the sweep.

Amherst dominated the stanza, propelled by a .382 hitting percentage and strong individual performances.

Co-captain Marialexa Natsis ’18 recorded four of her 14 kills in third set, including two in a row, extending Amherst’s lead over Clark to 17-8.

Emily Kolsky ’20 and co-captain Asha Walker ’18 also put in strong performances in the loss, finishing the match with 18 kills and 13 digs, respectively.

After Clark, Amherst traveled Clinton, N.Y. to challenge Hamilton. The Continentals were on a hot streak heading into the clash with the Firedogs, coming off two NESCAC wins in a row against Bates and Colby.

Amherst could not find a way to stop Hamilton’s NESCAC winning streak and fell 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 20-25, 9-15) in another tight match. After the first four stanzas, in which Amherst and Hamilton traded sets, the Firedogs could not overcome a 6-2 deficit to start the fifth set, which they ultimately lost 15-9.

The loss to the Continentals was highlighted by first-year Daria Kim-Percy’s strong performance, which was perhaps her best of the year.

Kim-Percy led the Firedogs in both aces, with two, and digs, with 27.

Against the Ephs (8-10), the Mammoths put the string of tough losses behind them, and bested Williams 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 20-25, 25-17), by winning multiple tightly contested sets.

Playing at Chandler Gym is always a tough task for the Firedogs, but Amherst won the first two sets of the match, jumping out to a commanding 2-0 lead.

Williams fought back in the third set, winning 25-20, but Amherst responded strongly in the fourth stanza, winning the set 25-17 to thwart an Ephs comeback and leave Williamstown with a 3-1 win that snapped their four-game skid.

Kim-Percy continued her strong play against Williams, providing a double-double with 12 kills and 19 digs. Adelaide Shunk ’20 also played well, assisting on 23 of Amherst’s points.

The win against Williams, gave the Firedogs a massive boost, whose playoff chances hinge on strong performances over their upcoming final five games.

“It was great beating Williams not only because it was an important win to create a turning point in our season, but also, it was truly amazing to beat our rivals and play together as a confident team again,” Natsis said.

The team returns to the court this weekend, when they host a trio of matches in LeFrak Gymnasium for the annual Hall of Fame tournament. On Friday, Oct. 20, Amherst will take on Wellesley at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the Mammoths will face off against the Coast Guard Academy and WPI in back-to-back affairs.

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