Amherst Volleyball Falls in Five-Set Thriller on HOF Invite Weekend

Amherst Volleyball Falls in Five-Set Thriller on HOF Invite Weekend
 

AMHERST, Mass. -- In a battle of top-ten teams in New England, Amherst College took a two set lead but visiting Wellesley College rallied to defeat the Mammoths in five sets (23-25, 21-25, 25-18, 22-17, 15-13), on Friday night at the Hall of Fame Invitational at Le Frak Gymnasium.

Amherst, who opened the season 14-1, now falls to 14-3 overall, while Wellesley (17-3) earned their 12th consecutive victory.

Amherst senior Emily Kolsky (Los Angeles, Calif.) had 19 kills on 55 attempts and 29 digs in the setback. Kolsky finished two digs shy of first year Sami Underwood (Los Angeles, Calif.), who led all players with 31 digs. Junior Jamie Dailey (Newport Beach, Calif) added 11 kills and first year Caroline Tilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) chipped in with 10 kills for Amherst. Jacqueline Kortekaas (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Charlotte Duran (Laguna Beach, Calif.) split the setting duties, finishing with 29 and 21 assists, respectively.

Junior Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) surpassed 1,000 career kills for Wellesley, totalling 28 kills and five blocks to lead the Blue. Sophomore Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) and junior Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif) each tallied double-doubles. Doerges had 15 kills, 20 digs, and five aces, while Jensen racked-up 14 kills and a team-high 24 digs. Senior Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) matched Jensen with a team-high 24 digs and junior Molly Likes (Oklahoma City, Okla.) added 14 digs. Sophomore setter Izzy Seebold (Concord, N.C.) tallied 56 assists and added 14 digs.

Trailing 22-23 in the first set, Amherst scored the final three points in the frame to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Kills from Dailey and Cameron Hendricks (Glastonbury Conn.) and a Wellesley error helped the Mammoths earn the 25-23 win. The hosts carried the momentum into the second game, taking a 19-10 lead following a kill by Tilton. Wellesley rallied to within three, at 21-8 and 22-19, but a pair of kills from Dailey gave Amherst a 25-21 win a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Blue put together the team's best offensive performance of the night in game three, finishing with 16 kills and a .325 attack percentage to extend the match to a fourth set. Doerges totaled seven of Wellesley's 16 kills in the third set, while Gedney had four, including the final kill to give the Blue a 25-18 victory. Trailing 6-5 at the start of the fourth set, Wellesley used a 6-0 run to take an 11-6 lead. The Blue had the lead for the remainder of the set, with Doerges tallying the final kill to send the match to a fifth game with a 25-20 Wellesley win.

The Blue took a 7-2 lead in the fifth set, only to see Amherst rally back to tie the match at 8-8. The teams exchanged points to run the score to 11-11, before Amherst took a 13-11 lead on kills from Tilton and Kolsky and forced a Blue timeout. After the timeout, Gedney countered with four straight kills to win the match for the Blue, 15-11.

Amherst returns to their home court for two matches on Saturday at the Hall of Fame Invitational. The Mammoths will play Clark at 11:00 AM and then Roger Williams at 3:00 PM.

Wellesley also continues play at LeFrak tomorrow, with a 1:00 PM match-up versus Roger Williams and a 3:00 PM tilt against Bates.