Jeffs Edged by Middlebury, Brandeis Outlasts Trinity in Amherst Volleyball Classic

AMHERST, MA - Amherst College suffered a narrow 3-2 loss to Middlebury College, while Brandeis University outlasted Trinity College, 3-2, in Day One of the Amherst Volleyball Classic on Friday night.

Amherst and Middlebury battled through the first three sets as the Panthers took the first, 30-26, the Jeffs answered in the second with a 30-26 victory, and Middlebury grabbed a 2-1 advantage with a another 30-27 win in the third. The Jeffs rallied in the fourth set, posting a .405 hitting percentage en route to a 30-16 victory and forcing a fifth and final set. Amherst junior Kristin Quinn (Pacific Palisades, CA) led the comeback with five of her match-high 18 kills in the fourth set. However, Middlebury held a slight advantage throughout the final frame and finally came away with the 17-15 win.

Joining Quinn in double-figure kills were Whitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL) with 12 and fellow sophomore Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ) and rookie Alison Munzer (Los Angeles, CA) with 10 apiece. Rookie setterSara Heller (La Canada, CA) posted 43 assists and eight blocks, while Munzer and Quinn added six blocks each. DeMais and classmate Julie Berkeley (Fullerton, CA) racked up a combined 39 digs to pace the defense as the Jeffs fell to 5-3.

Sophomore Lexie Fisher (San Francisco, CA) paced Middlebury with 14 kills and five blocks, while senior Jackie Edwards (Oakland, CA) contributed 12 kills and eight blocks, junior Lacee Patterson (Aspen, CO) notched 31 assists and six blocks and senior Jamie Wong (San Francisco, CA) chipped in 22 digs as the Panthers improved to 5-3.

In other tournament action, Brandeis raced out to a 2-0 edge with 30-26, 30-23, wins in the opening sets. However, Trinity would not go quietly and battled to even the match at 2-2 with 30-25, 30-26 victories of its own. The Judges regained composure in the final set, securing the match with a 15-12 win. Sophomore Jenny Sandler (Stafford, VA) and rookie Lorraine Wingenbach (Buffalo, NY) tallied 16 kills apiece to lead the Brandeis attack, and racked up 26 and 12 digs, respectively, as well. Senior Lucy Hollis (Mount Kisco, NY) led Trinity with 13 kills, while sophomore Vanessa Forero (Bedford, NY) posted 11 kills and 11 blocks. Brandeis evened its record at 5-5, while Trinity dropped to 5-4 with the loss.

Tournament action resumes tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 a.m. as Amherst faces Trinity and Brandeis squares off against Middlebury