AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College women's volleyball team used a combined 23 kills from Emily Kolsky '20 and Maggie Danner '17, and 16 assists each from Kate Bres '17 and Charlotte Duran '20 to help lift the Purple & White to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-13, 25-19) victory over Western New England University in Wednesday evening's non-conference contest at LeFrak Gymnasium.
With the win, Amherst improves to 3-1 on the season, while Western New England moves to 6-2 overall. Amherst returns to action Friday, September 16 when it travels to Bowdoin College to begin its NESCAC slate. First serve is set for 8 p.m. in Brunswick, Maine.
In a tightly contested first set, neither team held more than a three-point advantage throughout the frame. With the score set at 23-22 in favor of Amherst, Danner smashed a crucial kill to give the Purple & White set point. Carly Skibinski answered for Western New England to pull the Golden Bears to within 24-23, but a kill by Kolsky allowed Amherst to clinch a back-and-forth first stanza, 25-23.
Amherst cruised to a commanding, 14-2 lead in the second set, and eventually held a 21-9 following an attacking error by the visitors. Western New England responded by scoring four of the next six points as Sam Heffer delivered a pair of kills, Emmaline Chiodini and Cassandra Holmes added an assisted block, and Jenna Ferguson floored an ace to pull the Golden Bears to within 10 at 23-13. The Purple & White halted the momentum as a Danner kill, and an attacking error sealed the stanza for Amherst, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead in the match.
After racing out to an early, 4-0 lead in the third set, Amherst's lead evaporated as the sides battled to six ties and an 18-18 score. The Purple & White received a string of three kills from Danner, Kolsky and Annika Reczek '18 to post a 22-18 edge, before Skibinski momentarily stopped the run with a kill of her own. Amherst finished strong as Kolsky, Asha Walker '18, and Marialexa Natsis '18 cemented the victory for the Purple & White with a kill each.
- Kolsky finished with 12 kills and hit .360 for the match, while Danner floored 11 kills and hit at a .385 clip in the winning effort from Amherst.
- Bres and Charlotte Duran '20 each dished out 16 assists, while Bres and Hayes Honea '19 led the Purple & White with 10 digs each.
- Danner and Candace Chung '20 added eight and six digs respectively, while Bres and Walker served up a pair of aces each to help seal the win.
- Western New England was led by Alona Kornberg who smashed 10 kills and added five digs, while Brianna Roath was a force on the defense with a match-high 19 digs. Skibinski finished with six kills, while Torie Howdeshell added six digs in the losing effort.
- Jenna Leuck led all players with 23 assists.