PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Amherst College women's volleyball team fell to Johnson & Wales University, 3-0 (25-11, 25-18, 25-22) in Friday evening's opening match of the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Johnson & Wales at the Wildcat Center in Providence, R.I.
With the loss, Amherst begins its 2016 campaign, 0-1, while Johnson & Wales improves to 4-0 on the season. The Purple & White continues Wildcat Invitational play on Saturday when they take on Bridgewater State University at 11 a.m. and Gordon College at 1 p.m.
Johnson & Wales came out firing in the opening set, stringing together nine straight points with the frame tied at 2-2 to post an 11-2 margin. A kill by Emily Kamink extended the Wildcats' advantage to 18-4, before Amherst rallied on a kill by Maggie Danner '17 and a pair of attacking errors by Johnson & Wales to make it 18-7. A kill by Marialexa Natsis '18 made it 22-10 but that's as close as the Purple & White could get in the set as an assisted block by Starsha Tunstall and Kate Walker, followed by a Walker kill, helped the hosts close out the stanza, 25-11.
In the second set, Danner downed an early kill to pull Amherst to within two at 6-4, but a stretch of six straight points by the Wildcats helped Johnson & Wales stake a 12-4 lead. The Purple & White answered with back-to-back knockdowns by Danner and Adelaide Shunk '20, followed by a Danner service ace to make it 12-7. Amherst was later able to narrow the gap to three (16-13) following another Danner kill. Leading 21-15, Johnson & Wales pulled away thanks to kills from Brylee Frank and Kalmink, and outlasted a three-point rally by the visitors to secure a 25-18 win in the second stanza.
A back-and-forth third set saw the sides battle to four early tie scores before Johnson & Wales took a 16-11 lead. A termination by Natsis ignited an 8-0 run by Amherst that was capped by a pair of Danner kills as the Purple & White took a 19-16 lead in the session. A 6-0 run of their own allowed the Wildcats to reclaim a 22-20 edge, before the teams traded the following four points to set the score at 24-22 in favor of Johnson & Wales. A kill by Kalmink preserved the sweep for the Wildcats.
- Danner finished with 13 kills for Amherst, while Nicole Gould '17 and Natsis totaled six and five respectively.
- Hayes Honea '19 led the Purple & White with 13 digs, followed by nine from Kelci Keeno '17 and six from Asha Walker '18.
- First-year Charlotte Duran dished a team-high 15 assists, while Kate Bres '17 added six assists.
- Maria Coniglio led Johnson & Wales with 13 kills, while Hamilton and Walker finished with 11 and nine kills respectively.
- Frank dished out a match-best 37 assists and added 11 digs, while Gianna Esposito finished with a match-high 17 digs.
- Kalmink led all players at the net registering six assisted blocks and a solo block, while Coniglio and Esposito combined for seven of the team's eight service aces.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Amherst had beaten Johnson & Wales twice during the 2015 season, posting a 3-1 victory over the Wildcats in the final match of last year's Wildcat Invitational, before sweeping them 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship.