Jeffs Keep Streak Alive with Big Win on Senior Day

Laura Hyman
Laura Hyman '11 had 10 kills and eight total blocks to lead the Lord Jeffs on Senior Day.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team dropped its first set but rallied to win the next three, earning a 3-1 win over Trinity College Friday night in LeFrak Gymnasium. The Lord Jeffs improve to 15-1 (5-1 NESCAC) with their 12th consecutive win, while the Bantams fall to 10-6 (2-5).

Prior to the match, Amherst recognized seniors Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, CA), Erin Camp (Santa Monica, CA), Laura Hyman (Glencoe, IL) and Jackie Berkley (Fullerton, CA). Amherst’s Class of 2011 has posted an 87-22 record since 2007, including a 28-8 mark in NESCAC matches and a 31-7 record in LeFrak Gymnasium. The four Lord Jeffs have helped the program advance to at least the conference semifinals in three consecutive years, and this year they are leading what has been one of the most dominant teams in the region.

The Bantams—ranked 11th in the latest New England Women’s Volleyball Association Division III Regional Poll—won the first set by a 25-22 margin, but Amherst—ranked fourth in the region—took the next three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-18.

In the opening set the Lord Jeffs had a rowdy crowd behind them, but it was the Bantams who jumped out to an 11-5 lead. Amherst scored the next five points only to be answered by another Trinity run that left the score at 19-12 in favor of the visitors. The Jeffs battled back to keep things interesting, but first-year Hannah Brickley delivered the winning kill to seal the 25-22 win. Brickley led Trinity with seven kills in the first set, while Berkley had four for Amherst.

Neither team could gain breathing room in the second set until Cristy Meier ’12 (San Anselmo, CA) used a pair of solo blocks to give Amherst an 11-8 advantage. The Bantams responded with a 5-0 run and held the lead until the Jeffs scored to break a 16-16 tie. Amherst would gradually pull away, closing out the 25-18 set on a hit from Meier, who finished with eight kills in the frame.

The third set was never in doubt for the Jeffs, who held a 20-7 lead before a Trinity timeout and a kill from Brickley stopped the bleeding. The Bantams would cut their deficit to nine, but Amherst closed out the 25-15 set on a Katherine Kanoff ’12 (Pacific Palisades, CA) kill, which was made possible by a spectacular dig from Yorke.

Amherst scored the first four points of the fourth set and never relinquished the lead, using outstanding blocking late in the frame to pull away for a 25-18 win.

Yorke, who began the week leading the NESCAC in digs per set (6.35), finished with 31 to pace the defense. Meier led the attack with a team-high 17 kills, followed by 10 kills apiece from Kanoff and Hyman and eight by Berkley. Callie Neilson ’13 (Escondido, CA) handed out 48 assists and came up with 14 digs for the Jeffs, Kanoff had four service aces and 16 digs, and Hyman had eight total blocks.

Trinity was led by 13 kills from Danielle Isaman ’13, 12 from Brickley and 10 from Kristen Anderson ’11, while Jennifer Low ’12 finished with 35 assists. Sarah Blagden ’12 had a team-high 20 digs, Brickley added 14, and Low chipped in with 10.

The Lord Jeffs will host Wesleyan University tomorrow at 11 a.m., followed by a 1:30 p.m. showdown with Connecticut College. The Bantams will remain in Amherst to take on Middlebury College tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.