Mammoths Top Panthers in Important Early Season NESCAC Tussle

Mammoths Top Panthers in Important Early Season NESCAC Tussle

AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College overcame a first set deficit in their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's volleyball match against Middlebury and then handled the Panthers for a 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-20) victory on Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium.

The teams both came into the contest with 2-0 records in NESCAC play, and Amherst (9-1, 3-0 NESCAC) is now back in the win column after their eight-game unbeaten streak was snapped last weekend.

After taking a 4-0 lead, Amherst fell behind by a 16-12 margin in the opening set, but the Mammoths ripped off eight of the next nine points.

Sophie Launsbach '22 had a pair of kills during that run and had six of her game-high 14 kills in the opening set. Launsbach continued her strong hitting for the season, attacking at a .520 clip with just one error on 25 swings, while also serving a game-high three aces.

With one set in their back pocket, the Mammoths came out quickly in set two, jumping out to a 10-3 lead and never looking back. Emily Kolsky '20, had half of her eight kills in the second set, while Jane Nelson matched that effort, on her way to a 7-kill effort for the Panthers.

Senior Claire Dennis '20 led the way with four block assists on the evening, and Amherst totaled four blocks in the third set during an 11-0 run that turned an 8-6 Middlebury advantage into a 17-8 lead for the hosts.

Leading 21-10, Amherst survived another run by the Panthers, served by and including an ace from Lucy Ambach, and sealed the match with a kill from junior Jamie Dailey, one of eight on the evening.

The Panthers were led offensively by Corley Doyle, who had nine kills and hit .444. Emma Walsh and Chellsa Ferdinand shared setting duties, with each recording 14 assists, while libero Gigi Alper recorded 24 digs and three helpers.

Dennis pitched in with five kills, while classmate Cam Hendricks picked up six kills and was in on three blocks. Charlotte Duran '20 piled up 35 assists and 10 digs, while Kolsky and Skyleur Savage '22 each had a service ace and double-digit digs.

Middlebury falls to 7-3 on the year (2-1 NESCAC). The Panthers have another week off before travelling to Trinity next Friday night.

Amherst will be home again tomorrow afternoon for a non-conference game against MCLA. First serve is set for 1:00 PM.