Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – Led by sophomore setter Nicole Carter's 31 assists and 13 digs, the Amherst volleyball team earned a decisive 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-18) win over NESCAC rival Connecticut College.
Avenging last season's 3-2 loss to the Camels, the Jeffs improved to 9-5 (2-2 NESCAC) on the year, while Conn. College dropped to 7-7 (2-2 NESCAC).
First-year Maggie Danner tallied a match-best 12 kills, while Lauren Antion '15 and Samantha Newby '16 each had eight kills apiece. Katie Warshaw '16 was once again solid on the backline, contributing a match-high 18 digs, while Nicole Gould '17 and Jackie Buechler '17 combined for five kills and four blocks.
Knotted at 4-4 in the opening set, Antion and Carter blocked down a would-be Camel kill to ignite a 4-0 run. Following a Conn. College timeout, Amherst rattled off another 4-0 spurt to take a 15-8 advantage. Hoping to get the visitors going, Chloe Ainley '17 had back-to-back spikes to trim the deficit to 20-12. Later going up 23-14, the Jeffs closed out the first frame on consecutive Antion and Danner kills.
Coming out strong to start the second, Conn. College tallied seven of the set's first 12 points. Putting the brakes on a 3-0 Amherst run, Ainley and Alex Mcdevitt '17 blocked down a Jeff attack to make it 16-14. Scoring four of the next five, the Purple & White battled back, taking its first lead on a service ace. Tied at 20-20, the Jeffs continued to apply pressure netting four-straight tallies. Looking to set up Antion on set-point, Carter instead played the ball back over the net for a spike to give Amherst a 2-0 match lead.
Up 6-3 in the third, Amherst continued to stay aggressive, building an 18-11 margin. Newby and Buechler kept things going with a block that made it an eight-point advantage as Amherst soon built a 20-12 edge. Stringing together four-straight scores, Conn. College suddenly cut the difference in half, making it 20-16 on a Cailyn Straubel '16 service ace. Holding onto a 23-18 lead, Gould hammered home a kill before Newby ripped a spike inside the right sideline for match point.
Caroline Martin '16 paced the Camels with eight kills and six digs, while Ella Johnson '17 had six spikes. Kaitlin Cunningham '16 dished out 17 helpers, while Ainley finished with five kills and a team-high 12 digs.
Hitting .266 for the match, which included a .419 attack rate in the first, the Jeffs held the Camels to a paltry .045 hitting percentage, registering 14 blocks.
Amherst returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 5 against Tufts.