Jeffs Roll to 3-0 Victory Over Smith

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team improved to 14-1 on the season with a 3-0 win over local rival Smith College. The visiting Pioneers (6-8) gave the Jeffs a close second game, but Amherst proved to be too dominant overall.

Amherst looked sharp out of the gate and had no problems taking the first game, as the Jeffs cruised to a 30-13 win. The Pioneers came back to jump out to an early 10-5 lead in game two, and were right with Amherst the entire way, but senior tri-captain Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ) continuously came up big for her team. DeMais broke ties of 12-12, 14-14 and 15-15, all with powerful kills, and would not let Smith regain the lead. The visitors trailed 26-24 late in the game, but Amherst held on for the 30-26 victory.

The third game looked as though it would be another nail-biter, as the teams were notched up at 14-14 midway through, but Amherst broke the tie by going on a 13-1 run en route to a 30-17 win. DeMais finished the night with a match-high 15 kills and .464 hitting percentage, while fellow senior tri-captain Whitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL) had nine kills to go along with her .450 hitting percentage. First-year Laura Hyman (Glencoe, IL) chipped in with six kills, adding a solo block and pair of block assists.

Junior Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) chalked up 35 assists, adding three kills and a pair of service aces. First-year Jackie Berkley (Fullerton, CA) had a match-high five aces, as well as five block assists to mark another match-high. First-year Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, CA) led all players with 15 digs, while DeMais added 13 of her own.

Leading the Smith attack was senior co-captain Catherine Shafer, who finished with eight kills, four service aces and 11 digs. First-year Laurel Belton also had 11 digs, while sophomore Brianne Conninzzo chipped in with 10. First-year Lauren Martinez and sophomore Mikal Minarich each had 11 assists for the Pioneers.