AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team hosted Tufts University Saturday afternoon in a battle for sole possession of first place in the NESCAC standings, with the Jumbos earning an impressive 3-0 victory over the Lord Jeffs at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Tufts came out on top in four consecutive meetings with Amherst during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, but the Jeffs entered Saturday riding a two-match winning streak against the Jumbos and had won 11 of the 15 matchups since 2000. Tufts regained momentum in the NESCAC rivalry by cruising to set victories of 25-17, 25-14 and 25-21 this time around.
Sophomore Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, CA) and junior Bethany Belisle (Austin, TX) had 15 and seven digs, respectively. Senior quad-captain Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) added four digs to go along with 16 assists, first-year Cristy Meier (San Anselmo, CA) had a team-high seven kills, and senior quad-captain Hannah Wirth (Pacific Palisades, CA) had four kills.
After getting off to a12-1 start, the Jeffs dropped matches to Wesleyan and Trinity to mark their first two-match losing streak since the 2005 season, and have now lost three of the last four to move to 13-4 (3-1 NESCAC). The Jumbos got off to an even more impressive start this season, as they did not suffer their first loss until last Saturday's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Union College.
Tufts rebounded from its lone loss with a 3-2 win over regional powerhouse MIT and has since moved to 18-1 (4-0 NESCAC) to receive votes for the AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Jumbos have earned several key wins this year, defeating such teams as Williams, Wellesley and Connecticut College.
The Lord Jeffs return to action Wednesday, Oct. 15 when they head to Westfield State College for a 7 p.m. match.