Amherst Outlasts Springfield 3-2 in Hall of Fame Opener
Laura Hyman had 10 kills and 13 blocks in the win.
NORTHAMPTON, MA – The 6th-seeded Amherst College volleyball team opened play in the 2009 Volleyball Hall of Fame Tournament’s Gold Bracket this evening against 3rd-seed Springfield College. Amherst (18-4) advanced to the bracket semifinal with a 3-2 win over Springfield, setting up a showdown with archrival Williams College tomorrow at 12 p.m.
In the opening set, the Lord Jeffs and Pride traded points for the first ten rallies to leave the score knotted at 5-5. Springfield took the first significant lead at 8-5, riding a handful of kills by middle Lauren Torvi. A Pride service error, hitting error and receiving error on consecutive points helped Amherst tie the score 12-12.
Amherst opened up a 16-13 lead on a strong service stint by junior tri-captain Jackie Berkley (Fullerton, CA), before the Pride responded with a trio of points to tie the game once again at 16-16. Another Pride service error tied the set 19-19, before a Springfield kill and an ace by Kim Giaquinto forced Amherst head coach Sue Everden to call a timeout trailing 21-19. The stoppage could not slow Giaquinto and the Pride though, as another pair of aces and kills closed out the first set 25-19 in Springfield’s favor.
The score was tied 5-5 once again in the second set, before Amherst sophomore Katherine Kanoff (Pacific Palisades, CA) finished a rally with a kill from nearly ten feet off the net. A thunderous kill by Laura Hyman (Glencoe, IL) on a slide to the right put Amherst up 10-7. Amherst kept its lead at three points on an unassisted kill by Berkley, forcing Springfield to call a timeout trailing 14-11.
The Lord Jeffs rolled off three straight points on Kanoff serves, taking a 17-11 lead before Springfield would score again. The Pride closed the deficit all the way to two points before Meier put Amherst up 18-15 on a kill from the left side. Springfield answered once again with four straight points to take a 19-18 lead.
After another Lord Jeff timeout, Hyman finished off a pair of slides on both ends of a Katherine Jordan (Los Altos Hills, CA) unassisted kill, putting Amherst up 21-19. Springfield called a timeout of its own, only to see Amherst score four of the next six points for a 25-21 win to tie the match 1-1.
Amherst opened up a four-point advantage in the third set, holding that margin strong at 12-8. A broken play on Springfield’s side, a Pride hitting error, and a block by Amherst’s front line gave the Lord Jeffs their largest lead of the match at 15-8. Getting off to a strong start proved crucial for Amherst, as the Lord Jeffs cruised to a 25-15 win in the third set.
Springfield returned the favor in the fourth set, taking an early 7-2 lead. The Pride advantage grew to seven points, before Amherst benefited from a four-hit call against Springfield. Amherst closed the gap to 15-11 moments later on a huge kill by Kanoff on the left side. With Kanoff serving, Amherst battled to within two points at 15-13 on a block by Meier.
Amherst finally drew even in the fourth set at 16-16, as Meier continued an 11-5 run with another kill. The Jeffs took a 21-17 lead, only to see Springfield battle back to within a point at 21-20. After an Amherst timeout, back-to-back errors by the Lord Jeffs handed Springfield a 22-21 lead.
A Hyman kill and a Springfield hitting error put Amherst back on top, only to see Springfield answer with consecutive kills by Giaquinto. On set point, Springfield ended a long rally with spike that barely eluded Amherst dig attempts by Yorke and senior tri-captain Bethany Belisle (Austin, TX). With the 25-23 win in set four, Springfield forced Amherst to a fifth set for the third straight match.
In the decisive fifth set, these two local rivals once again battled blow for blow to start, and after ten points, the match was tied at 5-5. One point after the two teams switched sides the match was still tied 8-8. A hitting error by Springfield’s Sarah Lang-Rodean put Amherst up a point, before a controversial call in the Lord Jeff’s favor opened up a 10-8 lead.
A service ace by Springfield’s Bethany Stosz forced a timeout by Amherst with the Lord Jeffs leading just 12-11. After the stoppage, Amherst turned to Meier who delivered another crushing kill to force Springfield to use a timeout. On the ensuing point, Hyman finished a battle at the net with an unassisted kill to set up match point. Erin Camp (Santa Monica, CA) served up an ace for the match-winning point.
Amherst was led by Meier with 19 kills, and Hyman with 10 kills and 13 blocks. Kanoff added 10 kills, while Berkley chipped in with eight kills. Yorke paced the defense with 24 digs, and Jordan dished out 40 assists as the playmaker. The Pride offense was led by Lang-Rodean with 12 kills, while Meaghan Har had 23 digs and Torvi had eight blocks to pace the defense. Kelsea Hellyar had 45 assists in the losing effort.