Amherst Opens NESCAC Quad with 3-0 Win Over Middlebury

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team kicked off this weekend's NESCAC Quad with a 3-0 win over Middlebury College (7-9/2-3 NESCAC) to improve to 15-4 (4-1 NESCAC) on the season. The Lord Jeffs will wrap up their weekend with a match against Hamilton College Saturday at noon, while the Panthers will take on Hamilton at 3 p.m. Day two of the NESCAC Quad will also feature a match between Tufts and Williams College at noon. 

First-year Cristy Meier (San Anselmo, CA) got the Jeffs rolling in the first set by picking up four quick kills on her first four hitting attempts of the match, as Amherst jumped out to a 16-6 lead en route to a 25-14 win. The hosts made quick work of the Panthers in the second set as well, taking an early 9-2 lead and holding on for a 25-14 victory. 

The third set was kept close and Middlebury pulled to within five points late, but Amherst closed out the match with a 25-18 win. In other action at LeFrak Gymnasium, Tufts University made quick work of Hamilton and earned a 3-0 win to move to 20-1 (6-0 NESCAC) on the year. 

Meier led all players with 13 kills on the night, with fellow first-year Katherine Kanoff (Pacific Palisades, CA) close behind at 12 kills, as each newcomer hit at a .375 clip. Senior quad-captain Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) stood out with 30 assists, four kills (.600), 10 digs and a pair of block assists. Sophomore Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, CA) also had 10 digs. 

The Jeffs had three solo blocks and 12 block assists, with sophomore Laura Hyman (Glencoe, IL) dominating up front with five total blocks. Senior quad-captain Claire Holton-Basaldua (San Rafael, CA) chipped in with a solid performance of her own, totaling four kills (.300), six digs, two blocks and a pair of assists.

Senior co-captain Lindsay Patterson (Aspen, CO) led Middlebury with six kills and five digs, while first-year Elissa Geoke (Chevy Chase, MD) had five kills. Sophomore setter Lauren Barrett (Medfield, MA) dished out 15 assists, junior Natalie DuPre (Louisville, KY) had a team-high nine digs, and first-year Jane Handel (Evanston, IL) and Goeke each had two total blocks. 

This weekend, Amherst College paired with the Side-Out Foundation in an effort to raise money for Breast Cancer research through volleyball. Donations were accepted at LeFrak Gymnasium Friday night, and they can still be made online through the Side-Out Website.