Everden Gets 700th Win as Amherst Outlasts Middlebury

Everden Gets 700th Win as Amherst Outlasts Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Amherst College women's volleyball head coach Sue Everden earned her 700th career victory on Friday night as the Mammoths opened New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) play with a 3-2 victory over Middlebury at Pepin Gymnasium.

Everden, who has a career record of 700-277 (.716 win percentage), becomes the 14th coach in the history of NCAA Division III women's volleyball to reach 700 career wins.

She is also the third coach in Amherst College history with 700 victories, joining Bill Thurston (baseball) and David Hixon (men's basketball), who are both over the 800-win plateau.

This year's Mammoths improved to 4-0 on the season (1-0 NESCAC) with the five-set win (25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-10).

Four players posted double-digit kills numbers, led by 15 from Cameron Hendricks '20 and a double-double from reigning NESCAC player of the week Jamie Dailey '21, who had 13 kills and 15 digs.

Hendricks also had six block assists in the victory, while Charlotte Duran '20 put up 49 assists and 12 digs.

With the opening set tied at 4-4, Amherst tallied seven of the next eight points for an 11-5 lead on a kill from Claire Dennis '20. The Panthers clawed their way back slowly into the set, grabbing a 21-19 edge on a kill from Corley Doyle. After trading the lead back and forth, the Mammoths secured the first set on a Panther hitting error. 

With the second set tied at 15-15, Middlebury (3-2, 0-1 NESCAC) tallied five of the next six points, including a pair of service aces from Chellsa Ferdinand, for a 20-16 edge. The visitors chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to one at 21-20 on a kill by Hendricks. Middlebury responded with four of the final five points, capped off via a kill from Sarah Staver, to deadlock the match at a set apiece. 

In the third with the score tied at 5-5, the Mammoths put together a 12-5 run for a 17-10 lead, capped by a kill from Sophie Launsbach '22, who tallied seven on the night. The hosts fought back into the set, cutting the Amherst advantage to just two at 23-21 on a kill from Jane Nelson. After exchanging the next two points, a Panther attack error gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. 

The fourth set saw Amherst race out to an 11-6 edge on a kill by Dailey. Middlebury recorded nine of the next 13 points, knotting the set at 15-15 on a Mammoth attack miscue. Trading the next six points, the Panthers got back-to-back kills from Isabel Sessions followed by a kill from Sarah Staver for a 21-18 lead. Amherst moved to within a pair at 24-22 on a kill from Hendricks, but a kill down the line by Doyle gave Middlebury the set and tied the match at 2-2. 

Clinging to a 7-6 edge in the final set, the Mammoths scored the next four points for an 11-6 lead on a kill from Dailey. Middlebury pulled to within three at 13-10 on a kill from Maggie Wise, but Amherst tallied the final two points for the narrow victory. 

Dennis and Emily Kolsky '20 each produced 12 kills for the Mammoths, while Skyleur Savage '22 paced the Mammoths with 29 digs. 

Doyle and Sessions paced the balanced Middlebury offense, finishing with 17 and 16 kills, respectively, while Staver added 15 and Wise chipped in with 13. Ferdinand handed out a career-high 55 assists to go along 16 digs. Gigi Alper dug up 28 balls, while Shea Golden had 12 and Nelson ended with 11. Doyle and Staver each finished with a block solo and two block assists. 

Everden will look to increase her win total tomorrow, with two opportunities as the Mammoths open play at LeFrak Gymnasium this year with a tri-match against Newbury (11:00 AM) and Sage (3:00 PM).