Volleyball Looks to Continue Winning Streak in Playoffs
Issue   |   Tue, 10/31/2017 - 22:58
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Senior Kate Antion had a total of three digs in the game against Colby.

Women’s volleyball (16-9) ended the regular season on a high note, securing a spot in the NESCAC playoffs after beating Bates on Thursday and Colby on Saturday.

Facing off against Bates (11-13) on Thursday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium, the Mammoths put on a dominating Senior Night display. Amherst rolled past the Bobcats in straight sets (25-22, 25-28, 25-22) to secure their fourth consecutive NESCAC playoff berth. Behind strong performances from Daria Kim-Percy ’21, who led the team with 16 kills, and Hayes Honea ’19, who paced the squad with 20 digs and two aces, the Mammoths celebrated their seniors with a win.

“Senior night this year was especially amazing since we were playing a team that had beat one of the top teams in the NESCAC [Wesleyan], so that win was especially exciting and momentous,” said co-captain Marialexa Natsis ’18.

The Firedogs carried their momentum from senior night into their final home game of the regular season against Colby on Saturday. Although the Mammoths entered their Saturday clash against the Mules already having clinched a berth in the NESCAC playoffs, the hosts still put forth another strong display, improving their playoff seeding. Amherst easily handled Colby in straight sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-13).

Coming off the Bates match where she provided 38 assists, Charlotte Duran ’20 provided 30 assists for the Mammoths against the Mules. Kim-Percy and Natsis also put in strong shifts, leading Amherst with 13 and nine kills, respectively. Defensively, co-captain Asha Walker ’18 put in a stellar performance, contributing a match-high 14 digs.

The match was initially tight, with the teams trading points to open the first set. After the match sat at 7-7, the Firedogs went on a four point run and did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the match.

With the comprehensive wins over Colby and Bates, Amherst finished the season with four consecutive victories, dropping only one set in their winning-streak. The Mammoths, who are 5-5 in NESCAC play and were seeded fifth in the NESCAC tournament, enter the postseason with the confidence of a team ready to make a deep playoff run.

“With our last few important NESCAC wins, the Firedogs are definitely on an upward swing as we head into NESCACs and prepare to prove our physical and mental strength,” Natsis said.

The Mammoths now turn their attention to postseason play and their upcoming match against the fourth-seeded Hamilton (14-8) at Tufts’ Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Friday, Nov. 3.

Although Amherst finished the regular season with a better overall record than the Continentals, Hamilton boasts a 7-3 record in conference play. The Continentals beat Amherst in a closely contested five-set match on their home turf in the teams’ previous matchup, and the Mammoths will surely enter the game with confidence that they can take Hamilton to the wire.