Neilson Leads Jeffs in 3-1 Win Over Westfield State

Neilson Contact: Justin Long

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College volleyball team recorded a .458 hitting percentage in its first set and hit at an even .500 in the second en route to a 3-1 win over Westfield State University Wednesday evening in LeFrak Gymnasium (25-14, 25-11, 19-25, 25-18). 

The Lord Jeffs improve to 13-4 on the season and have won 24 consecutive matches against the Owls dating back to 1999. Westfield State dropped to 8-16 and has lost six of its last seven matches. 

Amherst used a 9-3 run to take a 17-9 lead in the opening frame, and the Jeffs would wrap up the first-set victory on a kill from KC Kanoff '12 (Pacific Palisades, Calif.). The hosts recorded 12 kills and only one error on 24 attempts, giving them an impressive .458 hitting percentage. 

Amherst then got six of its first 13 points of the second set on service aces, with Lauren Antion '15 (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Devin Pence '14 (Los Angeles, Calif.) recording three apiece. The Jeffs used a 13-2 run to take charge, with Meghan McCafferty '14 (Tyngsboro, Mass.) picking up the final kill to wrap up a set that saw the Jeffs connect on 50 percent of their attack attempts. 

The third set featured seven ties and three lead changes in the early going, with Westfield using a 3-0 run to break an 11-11 deadlock. The Owls bumped their lead to five points (17-12) on blocks from Alex Shaw and Kelsey Leonard and would close out the set on a 4-0 run, as Lindsay Rescott recorded the final kill for a 25-19 result. Rescott and Julia Warner had four kills apiece in the frame, with Rescott's coming on only seven attempts. 

The fourth set was a tug-of-war that saw Amherst lead from start to finish. The Jeffs scored the first four points and held an 11-4 advantage before watching their lead drop to two points (13-11), increase to seven (18-11) and deflate back down to three (19-16). Amherst took charge from there and closed out the 25-18 win on another service ace from Pence. 

Antion led Amherst with 11 kills (.500), while Kanoff and Abigail Hunter '13 (Kentfield, Calif.) each had 10. Callie Neilson '13 (Escondido, Calif.) had 39 assists and helped the Lord Jeffs hit at .299 for the match, Pence led all players with five aces and 12 digs, and Kristin Keeno '13 (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 11 digs. 

Rescott finished with a match-high 14 kills (.312), with Warner close behind at 12. Kerin DeGirolamo had 36 assists, three service aces, seven digs and two block assists in a solid all-around effort, with Warner adding nine digs and Leonard chipping in with three block assists. 

The Lord Jeffs will return to action this Friday when they travel to take on Colby College at 6 p.m. The Owls will take on Wheaton and Western Connecticut this Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.