Jeffs Open Season 3-1, Finish Second at WNEC Invitational

SPRINGFIELD, MA - The Amherst College volleyball team posted a second-place finish at the Western New England College (WNEC) Invitational on Friday and Saturday, blanking Westfield State College, Plymouth State University and Framingham State College in the first three rounds before falling to Plymouth St. in the championship game. First-year setter Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) led the way for the Jeffs, earning all-tournament honors.

The Jeffs cruised past Westfield St. on Friday night, 30-17, 30-16, 30-17, on the strength of 13 kills apiece from junior Kristin Quinn (Los Angeles, CA) and sophomore Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ). Heller racked up 29 assists and four aces, while sophomoreWhitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL) had eight kills.

Amherst continued with a hard-fought 30-27, 32-30, 30-22 win over Plymouth St. as Heller was similarly impressive, dishing out 32 assists and tallying four aces. Quinn and Kouvaris notched 12 and 11 kills, respectively, while DeMais and rookie Alison Munzer (Los Angeles, CA) had seven kills apiece.

Heller picked up where she left off on Saturday morning, piling up 19 assists, six kills and a trio of aces in Amherst's 30-11, 30-19, 30-15 defeat of Framingham St. DeMais and Quinn posted eight and seven kills, respectively, while sophomore Julie Berkley (Fullerton, CA) and senior tri-captain Natalie Soud (Jacksonville, FL) tallied a combined 10 aces.

However, Plymouth St. rebounded from its second-round loss to edge host WNEC in the other semifinal, 25-30, 30-21, 30-22, 25-30, 15-13, and defeat Amherst, 30-25, 30-26, 15-30, 30-28, in the championship match.

Amherst returns to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. against visiting non-conference opponent Keene State College.