AMHERST, Mass. – Maggie Danner '17 smashed a team-high 16 kills, and Nicole Carter '16 dished out a match-best 25 assists to help lift the Amherst College women's volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-23) victory over Western New England University in Friday evening's non-conference match at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 13-4 overall, while Western New England moves to 15-7 on the season.
In the opening set, Amherst opened up an early 13-6 lead on a kill by Nicole Gould '17 before Western New England responded with a string of four straight points highlighted by a Kasey Cameron kill and a service ace from Kendra Ouimette to pull the Golden Bears to within three at 13-10. Western New England then pulled to within two (17-15) following a Jeffs' attacking error before a 4-0 run extended the Purple & White's cushion to 21-15, capped by an ace from Kelci Keeno '17.
The Golden Bears answered with a 5-1 run of its own to pull the visitors to within at 22-20. After a Gould kill pushed the Amherst lead to 24-21, Cameron kept Western New England in the set, but a kill by Marialexa Natsis '18 sealed the 25-22 win.
After battling to 13 tie scores and seven lead changes in the second frame, the Golden Bears broke an 18-18 deadlock when Cameron registered back-to-back kills. An attacking error by the Jeffs and an assisted block by Carly Skibinski and Jessica Sincero lifted the Western New England advantage to 22-18. A kill by Annika Reczek '18, a Golden Bears' miscue, and a kill by Gould highlighted a 3-1 run for Amherst to again pull the Purple & White to within two at 23-21, but Skibinski and Carolyn Hajdusek provided consecutive kills to give Western New England a 25-21 win in the frame and set the match 1-1.
The third set saw Amherst sprint to a 13-4 lead before the Golden Bears responded with an 8-2 run of its own to pull the visitors to within three at 15-12 following a service ace by Cameron. That's as close as they would get as Amherst scored seven unanswered points to set the score at 21-12 and pulled away to a 25-16 victory in the frame and take a 2-1 lead in the contest.
With Amherst leading 24-21 in the fourth stanza following a kill by Gould, Western New England used an attacking error by the Jeffs and Cameron served up an ace to pull the Golden Bears to within one at 24-23, but an attacking error by the visitors on the ensuing play secured the 3-1 victory for the Purple & White.
Danner and Gould powered the Amherst attack with 16 and 11 kills respectively, while Natsis finished with seven kills. Carter directed the offense with 25 of the team's 44 assists, served up five aces, and added 15 digs, while Kate Bres '17 dished out 14 helpers and chipped in seven digs.
Cameron notched 17 kills and Olivia Lathrop delivered 10 kills for the Golden Bears, while Ouimette finished with 18 digs. Sincero and Jenna Leuck chipped in 14 and 12 digs, and 18 and 16 assists respectively in the losing effort.
Amherst returns to NESCAC action on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Bates College with first-serve set for 2 p.m.