Volleyball Hosts Hall of Fame Tournament
Issue   |   Wed, 10/29/2014 - 00:18

The Amherst women’s volleyball team hosted the two-day Hall of Fame Tournament this weekend, sweeping Wellesley on Friday evening before falling to MIT in four sets and defeating Brandeis in straight sets on Saturday.

Marialexa Natsis ’18 was named to the all-tournament team, as she floored 16 kills on 27 attempts with just two errors to record a .519 hitting percentage in addition to her six blocks in Amherst’s three games.

“I think we took care of easier teams and stepped up when we needed to in order to end matches as quickly as possible,” Natsis said. “We struggled with MIT, but I truly feel like if we were to face them again we would be able to rise to the challenge and beat them.”

On Friday night, the Firedogs rolled by Wellesley 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-15). First-years Natsis and Asha Walker headlined Amherst’s effort, as Natsis floored a match-high nine kills and Walker claimed 10 digs to go along with five service aces.

Nicole Carter ’16 led the Firedogs with 18 assists and Katie Warshaw ’16 recorded nine digs. Maggie Danner ’17 floored seven kills while Lizzie Ahern ’16 floored six. Natsis and Ahern each claimed four assisted blocks.

The Firedogs jumped out to quick leads in each of the first two sets, racing out to a 10-2 lead in the first stanza and a 13-1 lead in the second. The Blue challenged Amherst in the first set, reducing Amherst’s lead to five at 22-17 and later to four at 24-20 before the Firedogs claimed the set on an attacking miscue by the visitors. In the second, the Firedogs led from start to finish, claiming the set 25-12 and a 2-0 lead in the match thanks to an impressive kill by Walker.

The third set started much closer, with four early ties and three lead changes before Amherst dominated play to claim a 23-10 lead. Five straight Wellesley kills staved off defeat before a block by Natsis and Ahern and a kill by Danner gave Amherst the win.

In Amherst’s first match on Saturday, MIT defeated the Firedogs 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-16, 25-20). Danner led Amherst with 12 kills, while Carter and Bres directed Amherst’s attack with 17 and 10 assists, respectively. Warshaw led the Firedogs with 15 digs while Walker recorded 12 digs. Jennifer Krems ’18, meanwhile, led the team with three block assists and three service aces.

MIT, whom Natsis labeled “an effective blocking team,” contained Amherst’s attack throughout the match. The Engineers held the Firedogs to a .088 hitting percentage on the match. After MIT claimed the opening set 25-18, the Firedogs responded with a strong defensive performance in the second, forcing the Engineers into 11 attack errors and claiming the set 25-15 to even the match at 1-1. However, MIT reasserted their dominance over the next two sets to claim the match 3-1.

Later on Saturday, Amherst defeated Brandeis in straight sets (25-10, 25-14, 25-19) to wrap up their tournament with a 2-1 record. The Firedogs entered the match as heavy favorites, and Amherst controlled the tilt from start to finish.

Warshaw claimed a match-high 20 digs to go along with four services aces to lead Amherst to victory. Danner led all hitters with 10 kills, followed by Ahern with six and Walker and Nicole Gould ‘17 with five each. Carter dished out 15 assists for the match to lead the Firedogs while Bres added eight helpers in the win.

With these results, the Firedogs’ record stands at 18-6 overall (6-2 NESCAC). They will look to finish out the regular season strong with two conference matches at LeFrak Gymnasium, on Friday at 8 p.m. against Bowdoin and Saturday at 2 p.m. against Colby.