Volleyball Brings Out Brooms Against NESCAC Competition

Volleyball bounced back from a disappointing loss to Williams in a big way this weekend, cruising their way to back-to-back 3-0 wins against Bowdoin on Friday, Sept. 30, and Connecticut College on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Volleyball Brings Out Brooms Against NESCAC Competition
The volleyball team finished their seven-game home stand with wins against Bowdoin and Connecticut College. Up next are Trinity and Wesleyan. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

After a weekend in which they lost to perennial rival Williams, the volleyball team responded in emphatic fashion, coming to life offensively and locking down defensively on the way to a pair of 3-0 sweeps in NESCAC play.

The first unlucky team up on the Firedogs’ revenge tour was the Bowdoin Polar Bears on Friday, Sept. 30. The game began in back-and-forth fashion, with the score standing at 14-11 in favor of the Firedogs midway through the first set. But kills from Caroline Tilton ’23, Ava O’Connor ’24, Charlotte Rasmussen ’26, and Anaya Thomas ’25, as well as four straight serves from Lani Uyeno ’23 shortly after, resulted in a 11-3 run which ended the set and put the Firedogs up 1-0.

The next set proved to be the most competitive of the match, but Amherst still pulled out the win with setter Jacqueline Kortekaas ’23 setting up four kills during the set-deciding run. The Firedogs’ dominance didn’t stop in what proved to be the final set — they built a 12-6 lead and never looked back on the way to a 25-18 victory. Libero Katelyn Hamasaki ’24 notched four straight serves during the set, including back-to-back aces, to ice the Polar Bears. In the end, they were frozen off the scoreboard, and the Firedogs left LeFrak with their first 3-0 win of the weekend.

Amherst returned to the court for the final game of their home stand the following day, Saturday, Oct. 1, against Connecticut College. The Camels were conquered in similar fashion to the Polar Bears a day prior, falling 3-0 to the Firedogs. On Saturday, it was Tilton who led the way offensively, notching a game-high 18 kills in three sets. The Firedogs started the game strong, with a 25-11 win sealing the first set with relatively little fanfare.

It got much closer from there on out, with the Camels taking a one-point lead late in the second set. The Firedogs rallied, however, with a kill from Kortekaas winning back serve. Alexandra Trofort ’26 then took matters into her own hands, winning seven straight serves, including three straight aces to seal a comeback 25-17 win in set number two.

The third set was much of the same, with the Camels starting strong and holding a five-point lead in clutch time. A timeout from Firedogs coach Val Jones swung the momentum, though, and five straight service points from Hamasaki took back the lead. With the score at 19-18, the game got tight once again — the score would be tied at 20-20, 21-21, and 22-22 before the Firedogs took the lead for good off a kill from Tilton. Carly Cooper ’24 sealed the hard-fought set, and therefore the match, with a final kill, and the Firedogs took another 3-0 win.

Next up for the Firedogs is another two-game weekend, this time on the road. On Friday, Oct. 7, the Firedogs will travel to Hartford, Connecticut to face Trinity College, before taking on Wesleyan the next day, on Saturday, Oct. 8. The Firedogs’ game against the Bantams will begin at 7 p.m.