Amherst Opens Home Weekend with 3-0 Win Over Colby

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Junior Sara Heller had 38 assists and nine digs for Amherst.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team hosted the White Mules of Colby College in a NESCAC Quad Friday night in LeFrak Gymnasium. The Lord Jeffs cruised to a 3-0 win to improve to 24-3 (8-1 NESCAC) with just one regular season match to go, while the Mules fell to 12-21 (2-7 NESCAC).

Amherst recognized its three senior captains before the match: defensive specialist Julie Berkley (Fullerton, CA) and outside hitters Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ) and Whitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL). With only two matches remaining in the regular season and the Lord Jeffs holding on to first place in the conference standings, Amherst was looking to move one step closer to earning hosting duties for the NESCAC Championship Tournament.

The Mules hung with the Jeffs early in game one as the teams were notched at nine points apiece, but a kill from junior Claire Holton-Basaldua (San Rafael, CA) sealed a 30-17 victory for Amherst. The hosts carried their momentum into the second game and jumped out to a 12-1 lead en route to a 30-19 win, again with Holton-Basaldua driving home the game-winning kill.

The Jeffs did not hold a lead in the third game until DeMais broke a 12-12 tie with a kill that was deflected out of bounds by Colby. Amherst took over from there, closing out the game on a 14-1 run to earn its 19th 3-0 win of the season.

DeMais finished with 15 kills for Amherst, while Kouvaris and Holton-Basaldua each had 10. First-year Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, CA) and sophomore Bethany Belisle (Austin, TX) had 18 and 12 digs, respectively, and junior Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) chalked up 38 assists and nine digs.

Junior Meredith Lawler paced the Colby attack with 11 kills, while first-year Heather Arvidson and senior co-captain Jessie Prentice chipped in with eight and six, respectively. Junior Carlie Minichino led Colby with 12 digs and junior Jenny Lawrence racked up 29 assists.

The Lord Jeffs return to action Saturday at noon to conclude the regular season with a match against Bates College.

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