Volleyball Drops Pair of League Games
Issue   |   Wed, 09/19/2012 - 01:11
Nialah Hope ’15, Public Affairs Office
Nicole Carter ’16 hopes to help get the Jeffs back in the win column.

The Lady Jeffs’ season had started promisingly, but, unfortunately, that has changed quickly after the Amherst squad dropped two league contests over the weekend of Sept. 14-15.

Both Bowdoin and Tufts proved to be too much for the Jeffs to handle, and in each case, the final score was 3-1 in the opponent’s favor.

The Jeffs, who won their first three games with relative ease, were counting on continuing contributions from their talented first-years as they traveled to Brunswick, Maine to take on the Polar Bears. In part, they got what they were looking for: Lizzie Ahern ’16 paced the team with 13 kills, and Nicole Carter ’16 racked up 32 assists. As a team, however, the Jeffs struggled early and promptly found themselves down 2-0, a deficit the squad ultimately could not overcome. The Amherst squad did mount a comeback, winning the third set and pushing the fourth set to a 21-21 tie before the host Polar Bears finished off the match with four straight points. The loss marks the fourth straight year in which the Lady Jeffs have fallen to Bowdoin.

Looking to salvage a weekend split, the Lady Jeffs visited Tufts on Saturday, Sept. 15 only to meet with a similarly disappointing outcome. In the early going, the match was tight: the Jumbos took the first set 25-21, but the Jeffs responded with a 25-23 victory in the second set. The third set, however, belonged decisively to Tufts, with the Jumbos prevailing 25-13; their momentum carried over into the final set, which they took, 25-21, to win the match. Carter was again strong for the Lady Jeffs, notching 31 assists, while Emily Waterhouse ’13 and Lauren Antion ’15 totaled 13 and 12 kills, respectively. As they have against Bowdoin, the Jeffs have fared poorly against Tufts in recent years, with this defeat becoming their third straight at the hands of the Jumbos.

After a tough weekend, the Lady Jeffs gained a measure of redemption on Tuesday, Sept. 18, when they defeated Johnson & Wales by a 3-1 score. In that game, the Amherst squad once again showed flashes of its full potential, receiving outstanding play from first-years Carter and Ahern. Carter garnered 31 assists — a full 10 more than the Wildcats’ team leader, Kasey Higgins — while Ahern set the pace with 17 kills. Katie Warshaw ’16 also featured 18 digs in the match. All four sets were close, but the Jeffs jumped out to a 2-0 lead and, after narrowly losing the third set, finished off the Wildcats by a 25-20 margin in the final set.

The Jeffs’ next task will be to make to translate their intermittent success into league victories, which, with rivals Trinity and Wesleyan looming on the upcoming schedule, will not be easy. Knowing they will have their work cut out for them in order to remain in contention, the Lady Jeffs host the Bantams on Friday, Sept. 21, in their first home NESCAC match of the year. Trinity will enter at 1-1 in league play, having most recently dropped a 3-1 decision to Bowdoin. The following day (Sept. 22), the Jeffs will face Skidmore at home.