Jeffs Sweep Trinity, Brandeis; Middlebury Wins Amherst Classic

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College volleyball team cruised past NESCAC rival Trinity College, 3-0 on Saturday morning and kept up the strong play in the afternoon session, defeating non-conference foe Brandeis University in straight games as well. Middlebury College outlasted Brandeis, 3-2 in the morning session, before falling to Trinity, 3-2 in the afternoon, to take home the championship trophy in Day Two action at the Amherst Volleyball Classic. 

Amherst rolled in Saturday's opener, defeating Trinity, 30-28, 30-24, 30-21. SophomoreJaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ) led the Jeffs, posting 12 kills, 10 digs and 2 blocks, while classmate Whitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL) tallied 11 kills, 13 digs and 3 blocks. Rookie Alison Munzer (Los Angeles, CA) chipped in 11 kills as well, while classmate Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) notched four kills and dished out 40 assists. Senior tri-captain Kate Raddock (Stamford, CT) and junior Laura Golden (Boca Raton, Fl) racked up a combined 23 digs to lead the Amherst defense. 

Sophomore Erika Heineken (Larkspur, CA) paced Trinity with 10 kills and 10 digs, while classmate Vanessa Forero (Bedford, NY) contributed eight kills and three blocks, fellow sophomore Lindsey Eichler (Glenview, IL) notched eight kills and six digs and senior Lucy Hollis (Mount Kisco, NY) tallied five kills and 10 digs. 

The Jeffs remained hot in the afternoon, posting a 30-15, 30-19, 30-22, victory over Brandeis. DeMais led the way again, tallying 12 kills and 16 digs, while Kouvaris added 9 kills and 8 digs. Junior Kristin Quinn (Pacific Palisades, CA) notched six kills with a sparkling .500 hitting percentage and five blocks, and Golden and Raddock again paced the defense, combining for 24 digs. 

Rookie Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, NY) led the Judges with eight kills and five digs, while senior co-captain Jenna Polinsky (White Plains, NY) added five kills and nine digs. First-year setter Violette Ruggiero (Paradise Valley, CA) dished out 10 assists and tallied eight digs. 

In other tournament action, Middlebury edged Brandeis in the morning, 21-30, 30-20, 18-30, 33-31, 15-7. Sophomore Lexie Fisher (San Francisco, CA) paced Middlebury with 13 kills and 4 digs, while senior Jackie Edwards (Oakland, CA) contributed 12 kills, 5 digs and 3 blocks, junior Lacee Patterson (Aspen, CO) tallied 30 assists and 14 digs and classmate Amy Heath (Whitefish Bay, WI) chipped in 11 kills and two blocks. 

Wingenbach led Brandeis with 21 kills, 21 digs and three aces, while sophomore Jenny Sandler (Stafford , VA) tallied 17 kills and 23 digs. Polinsky notched 15 kills, 11 digs and four blocks, and sophomore Ashley Powers (Waltham, MA) posted three kills, 11 digs and two aces. 

The Panthers returned in the afternoon session only to face another five-game marathon, this time suffering a narrow 3-2 defeat to Trinity. Patterson dished out 54 assists and tallied 11 digs for Middlebury, while Heath posted 17 kills and a .452 hitting percentage, Fisher contributed 16 kills, and Edwards notched 12 kills. 

Hollis led the Bantam attack with 18 kills and nine digs, while Heineken added 11 kills and 19 digs. Sophomore setter Megan Borgelt (Huron, OH) chipped in 38 assists and 9 digs, and Eichler and Forero contributed double-figure kills, tallying 12 and 10, respectively. 

Middlebury took home the team title on the strength of its 2-1 overall record and its match victory over Amherst , also 2-1 for the tournament. The Jeffs improved to 7-3 on the season, while Middlebury moved to 6-4, Brandeis to 5-7 and Trinity to 6-5.

Amherst returns to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 against visiting non-conference foe Smith College .