Volleyball Stacked With Veteran Talent, Set for Return to NESCAC Tournament
Issue   |   Thu, 09/03/2015 - 22:49
Janna Joassainte '17
Senior captain Katie Warshaw led the NESCAC in digs last season.

Amherst volleyball graduated just one senior from the 2014 team and again set their sights on the NESCAC tournament and post season play.

This past season the Jeffs finished with a 21-7 overall record, including an 8-2 record in NESCAC games. The team also earned a berth to the NESCAC championship and beat Connecticut College in the quarterfinals 3-1. They fell in the semifinals to the eventual champions, Williams, by a score of 3-1.

Amherst looks to depend upon its four seniors, Katie Warshaw, Nicole Carter, Lizzie Ahern and Samantha Newby, to lead the team on the court.

“Our four seniors will bring great leadership and years of experience to the program,” sophomore Asha Walker said. “They all bring something different to the table, so it’s nice to see all of their different personalities come through in their leadership styles.”

Warshaw in particular will try to sustain the tremendous level of play she has shown during her Amherst career. In 2013 season she was the NESCAC conference leader in digs, and last year was selected for the 2014 NESCAC volleyball player of the week on Oct. 6. The league also named her to the second team All-NESCAC at the end of the 2014 season.

In addition to its senior leadership, Amherst expects big contributions from junior Maggie Danner and sophomore Marialexa Natsis. Last season, Danner was selected to the First Team All-NESCAC for the second year in a row, and Natsis received the award for NESCAC Co-Rookie of the Year.

The team will open up play on Friday, Sept. 11 at the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Johnson & Wales University. They’ll face Bridgewater State University for game one of their doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. before taking on Roger Williams in the nightcap.

Conference play begins the following Friday, Sept. 18 when the Jeffs take on Conn. College for their home opener starting at 8 p.m. Fellow NESCAC foe Tufts comes to town the following day, Saturday, Sept. 19 as Amherst hosts the Jumbos for a 2 p.m. start.

“We’re really excited for this season to start,” Walker said. “We’ve been working hard in preseason, and I’m excited to see all of that effort come together on the court.

Under head coach Sue Everden, in her 30th year as head coach, this combination of youth and experience will hope to bring the Jeffs their first NESCAC title since 2006.