Jeffs Advance to NESCAC Semifinals with 3-1 Win Over Wesleyan
AMHERST, MA – Top-seeded Amherst College came away with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-13, 22-25, 25-19) win over eighth-seeded Wesleyan University Friday evening at LeFrak Gymnasium in the NESCAC Volleyball Championship quarterfinal round. The Cardinals end their season at 10-13 (3-7 NESCAC), while the Lord Jeffs (24-2, 9-1) advance to take on either Tufts University or Connecticut College tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Friday’s result marked Amherst’s third win of the season against Wesleyan, as the Jeffs defeated the Cardinals by a 3-0 score on Sept. 11 and Oct. 16. Amherst improved to 9-0 at home this season and increased its overall winning streak to five matches, while the Cardinals had a five-match streak come to a halt.
Wesleyan scored the first three points of the evening and looked like the sharper team early on. The Cardinals continued to play well and took a 14-11 lead, but Amherst came back to break a 17-17 tie with three consecutive points en route to the 25-21 win in the first set.
The second set saw Amherst lead the whole way during its 25-13 win, but the visitors responded by taking the next set in nail-biting fashion. The Cardinals led early in the third set before the teams were tied at 15-, 16-, 17-, 18- and 19-all. Wesleyan gained breathing room with three straight points and pulled away from a 23-22 advantage to win the set, 25-22.
The fourth set was also a back-and-forth affair until Amherst broke a 14-14 deadlock by winning the next five points on its way to a 25-19 result.
Amherst’s Laura Hyman ’11 (Glencoe, IL) and Wesleyan’s Kim Farris ’14 each had 14 kills and hit at an impressive .583 clip for the match to lead their respective teams. Cristy Meier ’12 (San Anselmo, CA) and Katherine Kanoff ’12 (Pacific Palisades, CA) added 16 and 14 kills for the Jeffs, respectively, with Callie Neilson ’13 (Escondido, CA) dishing out 58 assists to her Amherst teammates.
Rachel Yorke ’11 (Los Angeles, CA) led all players with 30 digs for the hosts, with Kristin Keeno ’13 (Honolulu, HI) adding 11 and Erin Camp ’11 (Santa Monica, CA) pitching in with 10. Jackie Berkley ’11 (Fullerton, CA) had four block assists, while Hyman added three of her own.
Casey Reed ’12 had 16 kills and 12 digs for the Cardinals, Monica Leslie ’14 added 11 kills and Laura Yim ’13 handed out 47 assists. Ruby Hernandez ’11 picked up 28 digs, Alissa Santucci ’12 had three block assists and a pair of service aces, and Farris added six block assists to go with her 14 kills.
This is the fifth consecutive year in which the Lord Jeffs have advanced to at least the semifinal round of the conference championship. Saturday’s match will feature a live webcast. Please check the Amherst Athletics website for more information.