AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College used nine kills from Marialexa Natsis '18 and 18 assists from Nicole Carter '16 to help lift the Jeffs to a 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-15) sweep of Wellesley College in the opening match of the 2014 Hall of Fame women's volleyball tournament on Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 17-5 overall, while Wellesley moves to 14-8 on the season.
In the opening set, Amherst raced out to a 10-2 lead following a Wellesley attacking error, before the Blue chipped into the Jeffs' lead, pulling to within 16-13 on a kill by Caitlin Laughlin. A 6-2 run by the Purple & White extended the Amherst lead to 22-15, before the visitors rallied to within five following a kill by Sydney Carfagno to set the score at 22-17. Back-to-back kills by Jennifer Mackinnon Krems '18 and Maggie Danner '17 set the score at 24-17, but Wellesley held off the Jeffs using an Amherst attacking error, an ace by Maddie Koh, and an assisted block by Lindsey Menichella and Courtney Lang to set the score at 24-20. From there, the Jeffs clinched the frame following a Blue attacking miscue to take a 1-0 lead in the contest.
The Purple & White roared out to another fast start in the second stanza, scoring the first nine points of the set and eventually increasing the advantage to 13-1 on a service ace by Katie Warshaw '16. Wellesley pulled to the score to 17-9 on a kill by Carfagno, but that's as close as it would get as Amherst first-year Asha Walker delivered a kill to give the Jeffs a 25-12 victory in the set, and post a 2-0 lead in the match.
After playing to four early tie scores and three lead changes, Amherst broke out to a commanding 23-10 lead in the third period. Five straight kills, including two from Laughlin, and one each from Carfagno, Koh and Brooke Fieldman to pull the Blue to within 23-15, but an assisted block from Natsis and Lizzie Ahern '16, followed by a kill from Danner sealed the sweep for the Jeffs.
Danner finished with seven kills and Ahern added six, while Kate Bres '17 dished out eight helpers behind Carter's 18. Walker led the Jeffs with 10 digs, followed by nine from Warshaw, while Ahern and Natsis each totaled four assisted blocks. Walker served up five of the squad's 10 aces in the winning effort.
Wellesley received eight kills from Fieldman and seven from Carfagno, while Koh led all players with 22 assists. Taylor Jais led all player with 11 digs, Carfagno added seven, and Fieldman and Katie Yan chipped in six digs each.
Amherst returns to Hall of Fame Tournament action on Saturday, October 25 against MIT at 11 a.m. and Brandeis University at 3 p.m.