Amherst's Outstanding Season Ends with 3-0 Loss to Springfield

Amherst's .862 winning percentage (25-4) is the highest of head coach Sue Everden's 25-year tenure.

SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team wrapped up one of the most impressive seasons in program history with a 3-0 loss to Springfield College in the NCAA Division III Regional Championship semifinals Saturday evening at Blake Arena.

The Lord Jeffs finish their season at 25-4, while the Pride improves to 31-4 and will host UMass Boston Sunday afternoon for a spot in the national quarterfinals.

Amherst’s .862 winning percentage is the highest in the 25-year tenure of head coach Sue Everden, who improved her career record to 564-222. The previous high was .857, which was set by the 2007 squad that finished at 30-5 and advanced to the national quarterfinals. This season marked the sixth NCAA Tournament appearance for Everden and her Jeffs.

The Jeffs featured the second highest hitting percentage in the NESCAC, but they hit at only .033 in the first set and -.037 in the second. Amherst looked more like itself in the final frame and kept things close, but Springfield pulled away from its 21-20 lead by winning the next four points.

Sarah Lang-Rodean proved to be too much for Amherst, finishing the match with 19 kills and a .485 hitting percentage. Cristy Meier ’12 (San Anselmo, CA) was a bright spot for the Lord Jeff attack, hitting at a .323 clip with 13 kills. Rachel Yorke ’11 (Los Angeles, CA) and Callie Neilson ’13 (Escondido, CA) each had 12 digs, with Neilson also recording 23 assists.

Saturday marked the final match in the careers of Yorke, Jackie Berkley ’11 (Fullerton, CA), Laura Hyman ’11 (Glencoe, IL) and Erin Camp ’11 (Santa Monica, CA), who make up one of the most impressive senior classes in program history. They posted a record of 97-25 (.795) in their four years, including a 32-8 (.800) mark in NESCAC matches.  The Class of 2011 qualified for two NCAA Tournaments and advanced to at least the conference semifinals in four consecutive years.

For her play over the weekend, Meier was named to the All-Tournament Team to represent the Lord Jeffs. She joined  Lesley's Ashley McCracken, Middlebury's Caitlin Barrett, Springfield's Sarah Lang-Rodean and Tessa Smolinski, and UMass Boston's Corrine Porter. UMass Boston's Shannon Thompson was named the Most Valuable Player at the site.