Callie Neilson '13 Named NESCAC Co-Player of the Week
AMHERST, MA – Amherst College sophomore setter Callie Neilson (Escondido, CA) has been named the NESCAC Volleyball Co-Player of the Week for helping the Lord Jeffs pick up three impressive wins on the road. Neilson is Amherst’s first player to earn the conference’s weekly honor in 2010.
Neilson averaged 12.0 assists per set to lead Amherst to an impressive 3-0 (2-0 NESCAC) week, as the Lord Jeffs increased their winning streak to 10 matches. Neilson recorded 34 assists in a 3-0 win at Western New England College, 46 assists during a 3-1 come-from-behind win against Tufts University, and 40 assists in a convincing 3-0 victory against Bowdoin. Neilson’s 120 assists came on 291 attempts for a percentage of 41.2.
Neilson is averaging 2.41 digs and a NESCAC-best 10.89 assists per set during what has been a breakout sophomore season. She has played a vital role in helping Amherst post a 10-0 record since a 3-0 setback to Middlebury nearly one month ago. The Jeffs (13-1, 4-1 NESCAC) are currently third in the conference standings, trailing only Middlebury (13-3, 5-0) and Williams (15-6, 5-1).
Head coach Sue Everden has Amherst in the midst of its sixth winning streak of at least 10 matches since 2000. The 2003 squad won as many as 10 in a row, while the 2001, 2004 and 2007 teams had winning streaks halted after 11 matches. No Amherst team has put in a more dominant stretch than the 2006 Lord Jeffs, who claimed 14 consecutive victories en route to the NESCAC title.
Sharing this week’s honor with Neilson is Sarah Blagden ’12 of Trinity College. Blagden recorded 26 digs during a 3-0 win at Wesleyan before totaling 30 in a 3-2 setback to Connecticut College, giving her an average of 7.0 digs per set for the week.
Amherst is ranked seventh in the latest New England Women’s Volleyball Association Regional Poll but should move up significantly after knocking off Tufts, which was ranked No. 1. The Jeffs will return to action Wednesday, Oct. 13, when they head to Westfield State University for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Owls (13-9).