AMHERST, Mass. – Despite a gutsy effort to come from behind and win the opening set, Amherst College fell to Wesleyan University 3-1 in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's volleyball action on Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.
The setback (24-26, 25-10, 25-17, 25-17) was the first conference loss of the year for the Mammoths (14-2, 5-1 NESCAC), while Wesleyan improves to 15-2 (6-1 NESCAC).
Cameron Hendricks '20 had 14 kills for Amherst and hit .400 on 30 attempts, but Wesleyan's Bella Ahearn led all players with 17 kills on a .441 attacking rate.
Wesleyan opened up a 14-7 lead before Amherst used three straight kills by Jamie Dailey '21 as part of a 5-0 run. The teams traded mini-runs and the game would be tied at 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24.
The second set was dominated by Wesleyan, who took a 3-3 tie and turned it into a 15-5 advantage with the attacking prowess of Ahearn and Nicole Hilton, who finished the night with 13 kills, two solo blocks and two block assists.
Wesleyan had four players in double figures, including Gabby Bennet (10 kills, a solo block and three assists) and Stasie Litinsky (11 kills).
The Cardinals carried their momentum into the third set, taking a 6-0 lead and never trailing, leading by as much as eight points throughout.
Hilton served during the bulk of a 9-1 run for the visitors in the third set to turn a 6-5 lead into a 15-6 advantage. Amherst pulled to within five, but Mia Hogan had a pair of kills and Jenna Otaola added a service ace for the Cardinals to spark a mini 4-0 run that got them close enough to victory, which they secured with two more kills by Ahearn.
Kortekaas posted 22 asists and 13 digs, while Duran had 14 helpers and 11 digs. Savage led the team with 19 digs, while Dailey had seven kills and two blocks.
Wesleyan's Kaira Muraoka-Robertson had a strong afternoon, posting a double-double with 43 assists and 15 digs, along with two block assists and two service aces.
Amherst will be home next weekend for three games as part of the 2019 Hall of Fame Tournament. They will open play on Friday night when they host Wellesley at 7:00 PM.