Volleyball Set For NCAA Regional Action

Volleyball Set For NCAA Regional Action

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Amherst College women's volleyball team earned an at-large bid to its seventh NCAA Division III Championship and will take on Johnson & Wales University in first round action Friday, November 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Rockwell Cage on the campus of regional host No. 24 MIT.

Amherst (22-4) and Johnson & Wales (23-7) met during the 2015 season-opening Wildcat Invitational in Providence, R.I., with the Purple & White posting a 3-1 victory over the host Wildcats. Friday's first round contest marks the first meeting between the schools in NCAA postseason action.

Friday afternoon's winner will advance to take on the winner of host MIT (28-3) and Regis College (22-10) Saturday afternoon. The other two matches in the regional feature Babson College (27-8) and Roger Williams University (19-11); and Bowdoin College (23-4) and UMass-Boston (12-15).

LIVE COVERAGE
Live video and live stats will be provided for each match during the regional courtesy of MIT Athletic Communications.

AMHERST COLLEGE
(22-4, 8-2 NESCAC) –
Schedule/Roster/Stats

Championship History
Amherst is making its seventh overall appearance in the NCAA postseason, and its first since 2010. The Purple & White stand at 7-6 overall in the national tournament, having advanced to the second round five times, highlighted by a trip to the Elite Eight in 2007.

Road to the Championship
In 2015, Amherst used a pair of seven-match winning streaks to post a regular season record of 21-3, and a NESCAC mark of 8-2 which earned the Purple & White the third seed in the conference tournament for a third straight season. Amherst knocked off sixth-seeded Connecticut College, 3-0, in the quarterfinal round for the second time in as many years, but fell to second-seeded Williams College in a five-set thriller in the semifinals. The Purple & White have now logged 20-plus wins in each of the last three seasons, and nine of the last 10 campaigns.

Scouting Amherst
Led by First Team All-NESCAC selection Katie Warshaw '16, and Second Team All-Conference honoree Maggie Danner '17, Amherst has featured a balanced offensive attack, and tremendous back row defense. Warshaw finished second in the NESCAC in digs (488), and digs per set (5.30); and has registered 20-plus in nine matches. She also reached 30 digs on two occasions, including a collegiate career-high 38 in a 3-2 win over Bowdoin on Oct. 16.

Leading the offensive efforts has been senior setter Nicole Carter '16 who has dished out 796 assists, averaging 9.15 per set. Danner, a three-time all-league selection, floored a team-best 261 kills, averaging 3.00 per frame, while classmate Nicole Gould tabbed 252 kills (2.74 per set). At the net Samantha Newby '16 has been solid, registering 75 total blocks, while Lizzie Ahern '16 has been consistent for Amherst with 195 kills, 80 digs and 43 total blocks.

Amherst Versus the Regional Field
Amherst is 5-0 in 2015 against the regional field, having not played MIT or Regis. The Purple & White have only played MIT in the NCAA playoffs and is 2-1 against the Engineers. Amherst claimed a 3-2 win in the first round in 1998, with the Engineers posting a 3-1 win in the second round in 2006. The following year, Amherst downed MIT, 3-1.

JOHNSON & WALES
(23-7, 10-1 GNAC) –
Schedule/Roster/Stats

Championship History
Johnson & Wales is making its sixth NCAA Championship appearance, and its first since 2010. The Wildcats stand at 0-6 in national postseason play, and suffered a 3-2 loss to Stevens Institute of Technology in their last NCAA match in 2010.

Road to the Championship
Johnson & Wales posted a seven-match winning streak in the latter half of its 2015 campaign en route to the second seed in the GNAC Championship, and is currently in the midst of a six-match winning streak highlighted by the program's sixth GNAC crown. The Wildcats defeated top-seed and rival Rivier University, 3-2, on Nov. 7 to cap the team's championship run.

Scouting Johnson & Wales
The first-year tandem of Emily Kalmink and Natasia Kapustin has been at the forefront of the Wildcats' run at the end of the season. Kalmink leads the team with 3.03 kills per set, while Kapustin has notched 3.00 kills per stanza. Setter Kellen Tensen has handed out 9.07 assists per set, while Julianna Zaharias averages 3.57 digs per set.

2015 TALE OF THE TAPE

  Amherst Babson Bowdoin Johnson & Wales  No. 24 MIT  Regis Roger Williams UMass-Boston
Sets 92 125 94 106 109 116 109 100
Kills 1164 1421 1169 1156 1360 1167 1203 1145
Total Attacks 3327 4128 3317 3192 3619 3787 3603 3406
Hitting % .234 .198 .222 .212 .249 .124 .167 .190
Assists 1088 1305 1097 1034 1268 1043 1114 1030
Service Aces 151 290 210 256 300 327 277 181
Digs 1660 2012 1714 1463 1689 1608 1535 1560
Total Blocks 160.0 244.5 162.0 163.0 152.0 123.0 191.0 210
Points 1474.5 1955.5 1541.0 1574.5 1812.0 1617.0 1671.0 1536.0


NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
First Round – Friday, November 13 (at MIT)

Match 1
- Babson vs. Roger Williams – 12:30 p.m.
Match 2
- Bowdoin vs. UMass-Boston – 3 p.m.
Match 3
- Amherst vs. Johnson & Wales – 5:30 p.m.
Match 4
- MIT vs. Regis – 8 p.m. 

Second Round – Saturday, November 14 (at MIT)
Match 5
- Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner – 2:30 p.m.
Match 6
- Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner – 5 p.m. 

Third Round – Sunday, November 15 (at MIT)
Match 7
- Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner – 2 p.m.