Amherst Claims Three NESCAC Player of the Week Awards

Jake Duker
Senior tri-captain Jake Duker

AMHERST, MA – Amherst College student-athletes nearly took a clean sweep of this week’s NESCAC Player of the Week honors, as three Lord Jeffs earned the titles. Men’s soccer senior tri-captain Jake Duker (Newton, MA), women’s cross country senior quad-captain Elise Tropiano (Plainview, NY) and volleyball first-year Katherine Kanoff (Pacific Palisades, CA) all grabbed honors this afternoon for their part in a winning week for Amherst.

Duker had five goals during a 2-0 week for Amherst, as the Lord Jeffs outscored opponents by a 13-1 margin to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the NESCAC. Saturday afternoon against Bates, Duker had two goals in a 6-1 victory. He added three more goals on Sunday evening in a 7-0 shutout at Suffolk.

Duker now has seven goals and an assist through the first four games of the season. With his impressive weekend, he currently sits atop the NESCAC standings for points-per-game (3.75) and goals-per-game (1.75). For his career, Duker has amassed 25 goals and 12 assists for 62 points and has emerged as one of the elite goal-scorers in the region.

First-year Katherine Kanoff

Kanoff was all over the court during the Jeffs’ clean sweep at Bates, as she averaged 3.33 kills, 1.89 service aces and 4.00 digs per set with a .302 hitting percentage to lead Amherst to 3-0 victories over Colby, Bowdoin and the host Bobcats. Through the first 10 matches, she is averaging 2.5 kills per set and is leading the team in service aces (26), while her 2.9 digs-per-set average is the second highest on the team.

Kanoff opened the weekend with nine kills, seven aces and 12 digs against Colby on Friday night and followed up with six kills, six aces and 10 digs against Bates. The first-year standout saved her best performance for last, hitting at a .444 clip with career highs in kills (15) and digs (14) in the victory over Bowdoin. Amherst is off to a 9-1 start and is one of only two NESCAC teams yet to lose a conference match. This marks the team’s first NESCAC Player of the Week honor of the year and the first time an Amherst volleyball first-year has won the award this decade.

Elise Tropiano
Senior quad-captain Elise Tropiano
Tropiano finished first at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday, posting a time of 18:11 for the 5-kilometer race to help Amherst claim second place at the 41-team meet with 88 points. The senior quad-captain improved upon both her time and place from a year ago, as she finished third with a time of 18:16 at the 2007 UMass Dartmouth Invitational.

Tropiano’s trophy case continues to grow during what is expected to be a successful senior season. After earning NESCAC Performer of the Week honors early last year, she went on to garner All-New England recognition for placing seventh at the NCAA Regional Championships before her 14th-place finish at the national championships resulted in All-America honors.