Volleyball Can't Solve Strong Williams Squad
Issue   |   Tue, 10/01/2013 - 23:45

Coming off a successful weekend winning two of three, the Amherst looked to continue their strong NESCAC play against archrival Williams last Thursday night. The Ephs entered the match with an 11-1 overall record and the top offense in the NESCAC. Amherst entered with an 8-4 record overall and a 1-1 record in NESCAC play. The Firedogs looked to inch closer to the top of the standings with a win, but fell short.

The Amherst squad didn’t carry the same energy and enthusiasm from the previous weekend into the game and fell in straight sets to Williams 3-1.

“We didn’t come out as strongly as we could have in the first set,” first-year Maggie Danner said.

Following the opening game loss 25-20, Amherst dropped the next game by a margin of 25-16. The Amherst offense struggled in the first set, only converting five of their twenty-nine kill attempts. The Firedogs played more efficient offense in the second game, but had difficulty stopping the Ephs’ attack. Williams hit for a .516 hitting percentage, well above their season average of .289.

The Firedogs refused to go down without a fight, however, and won the third game 25-16.

“I was really proud of the way the team came back in the third game. We worked really well together and set the pace for the game,” Danner said.

Amherst buckled down on defense in the third game at shut the Eph offense down, holding them to a -.045 hitting percentage. The Firedogs continued their strong defensive effort into the decisive fourth game, but fell just short losing 25-23.

“Even though we lost the fourth game, we fought really hard,” Danner said. “There were so many awesome plays and moments that we can be proud about, and with a few little changes it easily could have gone either way.”

Amherst was led on offense by Danner and Nicole Gould ’17, who had 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Danner and Gould are one of the top first-year offensive duos in the NESCAC and lead the team in kills. Sophomore Nicole Carter ’16 continued her stellar play by notching 28 assists.

The Firedogs will look to use the momentum from the last two games of the Williams match to win their next match against the Conn. College Camels on Friday.

“One positive thing from every loss with this team is that it motivates us to work even harder in practice so we can come out and play even stronger in the next match,” Danner said.

Conn. College enters the match in a tie for fourth place in the NESCAC with an overall record of 6-6 and 2-1 in league play. The Firedogs will look to shut down the Camels’ Caroline Martin, one of the top offensive players in the NESCAC. Expect an energized Amherst squad this Friday, Oct. 4, against the Camels at 8 p.m. in LeFrak Gymnasium.