Jeffs Post 3-2 Comeback Victory Over Williams

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College volleyball team rallied from a two-game deficit to deal visiting NESCAC archrival Williams College a 23-30, 25-30, 30-16, 30-27, 15-11 loss on Tuesday night. Sophomore standout Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ) sparked the comeback with a career-high 25 kills, 20 digs and a trio of service aces as the Jeffs ended an 11-match losing streak to the Ephs, dating back to 2001, and improved to 13-7 (4-3 NESCAC). 

Williams jumped out to an early lead, winning the first two games 30-23 and 30-25. Senior Annie Denison (Portland, OR) led the Ephs with 13 of her match-high 26 kills.

The Jeffs finally came to life in the third game with the support of a rabid LeFrak Gymnasium crowd behind them, rolling to a stifling 30-16 victory. Williams seemed to regain control in the fourth game, building a 19-12 lead, but the Jeffs fought back on strong service runs by senior tri-captain Kate Raddock (Stamford, CT) and junior Kristin Quinn (Pacific Palisades, CA) and secured the 30-27 victory to force a fifth and final set. DeMais was key in the comeback, notching eight kills in the frame. 

The Jeffs' momentum carried into the final game as they raced to a 7-1 advantage and cruised on to the 15-11 win on the strength of a 15-for-28-kill performance. 

Amherst sophomore Whitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL) finished with 15 kills and 15 digs, while Quinn joined her in double-figures with 14 kills and six blocks. Rookie Hannah Wirth (Pacific Palisades, CA) and senior tri-captain Natalie Soud (Jacksonville, FL) added eight and seven kills, respectively, while first-year setter Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) posted a career-high 60 assists and 12 digs. Raddock and fellow defensive specialists Laura Golden (Boca Raton, FL) and Julie Berkley (Fullerton, CA) were stellar in the back row, combining for 42 digs.

First-year Riki McDermott (Manhattan Beach, CA) and junior Krista Suojanen (Medfield, MA) joined Denison in double-digits with 15 and 10 kills, respectively, and combined for 39 digs as well. Junior setter Alexis Knepp (Austin, TX) added 46 kills and eight digs, while classmate Katie Cail (Gilford, NH) chipped in 16 digs as the Ephs fell to 11-10 overall and 3-3 in conference play. 

Amherst returns to Friday at 5 p.m. in its final regular-season home matches as the Jeffs host the opening rounds of the Hall of Fame Classic.