WORCSTER, Mass. – The Amherst College volleyball team earned a thrilling, 3-2 (25-15, 20-25, 18-25, 25-16, 16-14) win over Babson College before falling, 3-2 to Clark University (25-15, 25-27, 25-22, 12-25, 15-11) Saturday afternoon in non-conference tri-match action at Kneller Gymnasium on the campus of Clark in Worcester, Mass.
With the split, Amherst moves to 7-3 on the season. The Purple & White return to action Friday, Sept. 30 when they host Colby College in a NESCAC tilt at 8 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Amherst 3, Babson 2
For the second straight match and the second time in as many days, Amherst fought off a 2-1 deficit and powered to a 3-2 five-set thrilling victory. After winning the first set, 25-15, Amherst lost the next two, 25-20 and 25-18. Completed another comeback win by topping Babson, 25-16 in the fourth stanza, and 16-14 in the decisive fifth session.
After a tightly contested contest saw the sides split the first four sets, Amherst opened open up a quick 8-2 lead in the fifth frame. The Purple & White extended their lead to 10-3 on an attacking error by the Beavers, but Babson responded by scoring nine of the next 12 points to pull to within two at 14-12. A kill by Gizem Yilmaz and a service ace from Lorraine Mackiewicz leveled the set at 14-14, but Maggie Danner '17 delivered a kill, and then teamed the net with Annika Reczek '18 for a match-clinching block to set the score at 16-14.
Danner finished with a match-high 19 kills, added seven digs, and three assisted blocks, while Nicole Gould '17 notched 10 kills. Marialexa Natsis '18 added nine kills in the winning effort, while Hayes Honea '19 led the Purple & White with 20 digs.
Kelci Keeno '17 followed with 14 digs, while Kate Bres '17 dished out 14 assists and notched 11 digs. Charlotte Duran '20 led Amherst with 16 assists. Lauren Reppert '19 and Reczek chipped in three assisted blocks each.
Babson was led by a 15-kill effort from Yilmaz, while Mackiewicz and Jenny Karnes followed with 14 and 11 kills respectively. Elizabeth Cameron dished out 46 helpers, while Abby Beecher was tremendous in the back row digging 30 balls to lead the Beavers' defense. Mackiewicz added 16 digs in the losing effort.
Clark 3, Amherst 2
Playing its third-straight five set match in two days, Clark posted a 25-15 win in set one, before Amherst picked up a 27-25 set two win. The third frame saw the Cougars win, 25-22 before the Purple & White rallied for a convincing, 25-12 win in the fourth stanza. Clark outlasted Amherst, 15-11 in the fifth set to complete a 3-2 win.
Three players finished with double-digit kills for Amherst including Natsis who totaled 15, followed by Danner with 14 and Gould with 11. Both Bres and Duran handed out 19 assists each, while Honea tied for the match high in digs with 32.
Candace Chung '20 added 11 digs of her own, while Bres, Duran and Keeno finished with eight apiece. Reczek once again contributed a stellar effort at the net amassing 11 assisted blocks, while Danner finished with six.
Marina Ramos paced the Clark attack with 20 kills, while Ana Mercado was one behind with 19. Directing the Cougars' surge was Rachel Webb who handed out 54 assists, while Mia Cattaneo led four players in double-digit digs with 32. Ramos finished with 22 digs, while Savannah Sanford and Rayme Quiban chipped in 19 and 11 respectively.