The Amherst volleyball team finished with a 25-8 overall record (7-3 in conference play), posting winning streaks of seven, six and 10 matches along the way. With yet another 20-win season, the Jeffs qualified for their 11th consecutive postseason appearance, earning the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament. Despite dropping their season opener at Western Connecticut State University, they proceeded to reel off seven straight victories, including four at Western New England College (WNEC) to claim the WNEC Invitational. After a loss to archrival Williams College, Amherst snatched wins from NESCAC foes Middlebury College and Hamilton College and posted a four-match sweep in the Amherst Classic as well. After being upended by Springfield College at the Wesleyan Invitational, the Jeffs nabbed 10 straight wins, including a pair of victories over NESCAC rivals Trinity College and Wesleyan. Unfortunately, Amherst dropped four of its last five regular season tilts, but still secured the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Tournament. The Jeffs rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat fifth-seeded Tufts University in the quarterfinals, but their season ended with a loss to top-seeded host Williams, which went on to win the NESCAC title and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Jeffs lose just two players to graduation, but co-captains Lauren Wong and Jess Allen leave tough shoes to fill. Wong, a NEWVA Honorable Mention All-New England and Second-Team All-NESCAC selection, compiled 583 kills and 502 blocks in her tenure, while Allen tallied 509 kills and 933 digs. The pair collected 97 wins at Amherst and will be sorely missed both on and off the court.
Amherst returns a solid squad highlighted by seniors Annie Hoeksma and Nicole Davidson and sophomore Kristin Quinn. Hoeksma earned First-Team All-NESCAC honors for the second consecutive year after compiling 1,079 assists last season, and was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player at the WNEC Invitational, dishing out a combined 117 assists in wins over Mass. College, Pine Manor, Plymouth St. and Westfield St. Davidson racked up 293 kills, second highest on the team, and tallied 248 digs as well. Quinn had an amazing first year, earning New England Women's Volleyball Association Second-Team All-New England, New England Rookie of the Year and NESCAC Rookie of the Year recognition. She also finished 10th in the nation in hitting percentage (.420) and 13th in blocks per game (1.52), good for first and second in the NESCAC, respectively. Senior Liz Braemer, juniors Sara Bruggeman and Natalie Soud and sophomore Megan Ingraham all saw action last season and hope to increase their contributions this fall. The Jeffs also retain the defensive services of junior Kate Raddock. The starting libero for most of last season, she led the Jeffs with 413 digs. Joining her in the back row will be senior Greta Anderson and sophomores Laura Golden and Mikela Yarawamai.
Volleyball Eyes Senior Leadership as Key to 12th Straight Postseason Appearance