Jeffs Best Western New England, 3-1

Jeffs Best Western New England, 3-1

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Amherst College posted a 3-1 (25-7, 22-25, 25-13, 25-15) victory over Western New England University in Wednesday evening's non-conference women's volleyball match at the AHLC Field House in Springfield, Mass.

With the win, Amherst improves to 5-0 on the season, while Western New England moves to 4-3 overall.

In the opening set, Amherst built a substantial lead, highlighted by a five-kill effort from Marialexa Natsis '18. Senior setter Nicole Carter directed the Jeffs' attack dishing out six assists, while Katie Warshaw '16 led the defensive effort with five digs. Samantha Newby '16 and Lizzie Ahern '16 registered two blocks each as the Purple & White senior quad captains helped drive Amherst to a 25-7 win in the opening frame.  

After falling behind, 4-0 in the second set, Western New England went on a 6-1 run, capped by a Jeffs' attacking error, to take a 6-5 lead in the second set. The Golden Bears extended their advantage to 11-8 on a kill by Olivia Lathrop, but Amherst answered as Jenna Ferguson registered back-to-back attacking errors before Ahern and Jennifer Mackinnon Krems '18 delivered an assisted block to knot the frame at 11-11. The sides battled to four more ties and a 17-17 score before Western New England executed a 6-3 run to make it 23-20. The Jeffs clawed back to within one (23-22) as Ahern downed a kill and Maggie Danner '17 served up an ace, but a kill by Kelsey Armstrong, and an attacking error by the Purple & White allowed the Golden Bears to even the match at one set apiece.

The third stanza saw Amherst race out to an early 7-0 lead and extend that cushion to as many as 13 (16-3), before Western New England went on a 5-1 run of its own capped by a kill from Alona Kornberg to pull to within nine at 17-8. Amherst then scored six straight points to post a 23-8 lead, before the Golden Bears responded by scoring five of the next six points to make it 24-13. A kill by Ahern clinched the set for the Jeffs, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead in the contest.

In the fourth set, Amherst held a narrow, 10-8 edge before a 15-7 run sealed the match for the Purple & White.

Nicole Gould '17 led all hitters with 11 kills and registered a .360 hitting percentage, while Natsis followed with 10 kills and a .316 hitting clip. Danner finished with eight kills, while Ahern chipped in six.

Warshaw, first-year Hayes Honea, and Kelci Keeno '17 totaled double-digit digs, with Warshaw amassing 28, Honea, 12, and Keeno, 11. Carter dished out 34 helpers, added six digs, and a pair of service aces; while Asha Walker '18 served up two aces and contributed nine digs. Newby and Ahern were a force at the net combining for 12 total blocks with seven and five respectively.

Amherst returns to action Friday, September 18 when it hosts Connecticut College in its 2015 home and NESCAC opener. First-serve is set for 8 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.