Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. - First-year Lauren Antion (Los Angeles, Calif.) matched a career-high with 17 kills, hitting .773 to lead the Amherst women's volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-14) sweep of Smith College at LeFrak Gymnasium. With the win, the Lord Jeffs improved to 18-6 overall on the season, while the Pioneers fell to 9-16 on the year.
Hoping to seize control early, Amherst reeled off five-straight points to open the first set, prompting a Smith timeout following an Antion spike. The Jeffs continued to stay hot following the stoppage, ripping off five more points to go up 10-0 on another Antion kill. Up 20-9, Amherst did just enough down the stretch, outscoring Smith 5-3, while sealing the victory with Antion's sixth kill of the night.
Looking to rebound, the Pioneers jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the second before Amherst reeled off three-consecutive points to pull even. Undaunted, Smith mounted a 9-6 run, going up 16-13 on a Jeff hitting error. Needing to respond, Amherst rallied, netting six of the set's next 10 points to trim the deficit to one at 20-19.
After a Pioneers timeout, the Lord Jeffs scored three of the frame's next four points, pulling ahead 23-21 on an Antion spike. Sophomore Claire Hoffman (Spokane, Wash.) and Antion then combined on a block to extend the Amherst cushion to three before Devin Pence '14 (Los Angeles, Calif.) closed it out with a service ace.
Down 4-1 to start the third, Smith went on a 6-2 run to take a one-point edge. Amherst quickly responded with four unanswered points, going up 10-7 on a Pioneer ball-handling error. Up 15-9 on an Antion kill, the Jeffs scored 10 of the match's last 15 points, closing things out with an Abigail Hunter '13 (Kentfield, Calif.) block and a KC Kanoff '12 (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) kill.
Amherst senior Cristy Meier (San Anselmo, Calif.) finished with eight kills, hitting .316, while Kanoff and Hunter combined for 10 spikes. Callie Neilson '13 (Escondido, Calif.) dished out 34 assists while directing the Jeff offense, with Pence and Kristin Keeno '13 (Honolulu, Hawaii) each collecting nine digs.
Sophomore Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H.) paced the Pioneer attack with a match-high 21 kills, hitting .293, while Blair Bell '13 added six spikes and four digs. Hayley Bezubka '14 and Courtney Faria '12 had 16 and 11 assists, respectively, while sophomore libero Bethany Ashworth collected 15 digs.
Amherst, which hit .281 while holding Smith to a .021 attack rate, won the battle at the net, finishing with a 10-8 block advantage.
The Lord Jeffs will host Williams as part of their Senior Day festivities on Friday, Oct. 28.