AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team hosted opening-round play of the Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament on Friday night and responded with a 3-1 win over Brandeis University and a 3-0 non-league victory over NESCAC rival Colby College. Junior outside hitter Jess Allen (Chagrin Falls, OH) paced the Jeffs – who improved to 18-3 overall – with a combined 28 kills and 40 digs in the two matches.
Amherst downed Brandeis 30-21, 30-23, 26-30, 30-22 in the opener, led by Allen's match-highs of 17 kills and 24 digs. Senior co-captain Erin Dittus (Brentwood, TN) added 15 kills, while sophomore setter Annie Hoeksma (Los Angeles, CA) chipped in with 51 assists.
The nightcap brought similar results as the Jeffs swept Colby 30-22, 30-22, 30-27. Allen and Dittus once again led the way with 11 kills each. First-year middle blocker Sara Bruggeman (Boulder, CO) posted seven kills on defense.
In addition to opening Family Weekend at Amherst, Friday evening was also senior night for the volleyball team, with Paula Yanes (Tampa, FL), Irene Lee (Fullerton, CA), co-captain Missy Mordy (Issaquah, WA) and Dittus playing the final regular season home matches of their respective careers.
The class of 2003 has helped lead the Jeffs to a 95-22 overall record in four seasons, including three straight postseason appearances, two consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and back-to-back NESCAC Championships in 1999 and 2000.
Tournament play will resume Saturday morning at nearby Smith College.