After splitting last weekend’s matches against Tufts and Bowdoin, the volleyball team returned to its winning ways this weekend against stiff NESCAC competition. On Friday, Oct. 12, Amherst dominated the visiting Hamilton Continentals and closed out its weekend with a rousing victory over archrival Williams on Saturday. With seven games to play, the Firedogs are now 14-3, with a 6-2 record in the NESCAC, and are poised to make a strong push towards the postseason.
On Friday, Amherst welcomed the Continentals, who arrived on campus with a 1-6 record in league play, to LeFrak Gymnasium. The Firedogs got off to a hot start in the first set, jumping out to a 19-9 lead. Hamilton rattled off a run to cut the deficit to five points, but Amherst was able to close out the set with a 25-18 win.
Another quick start in the second set gave the Firedogs a 17-5 lead, which they would not relinquish, closing out the set with a 25-13 win. It took just one more frame to finish the match, with Amherst claiming a 25-22 edge in the third and for a comfortable straight-set win.
Junior Emily Kolsky led all players with eight kills 16 digs, while teammates Claire Dennis ’20 and Jamie Dailey ’21 each contributed seven kills of their own. Charlotte Duran ’20 had a double-double, finishing with 26 assists and 10 digs. Junior defensive specialist Candace Chung played an important role in the serving game, finishing with two of Amherst’s six service aces.
On Saturday, the Firedogs took on Williams, which sat just one game back of Amherst in the NESCAC standings when the match started. The contest was competitive from the opening whistle, with both teams trading the lead early in the first set with the scoreboard reading 12-12. However, Amherst scored the next six points en route to claiming the set 25-20.
The second set was all Williams, as the Ephs scored 19 of the first 30 points to lead by eight. Though Amherst mounted a furious comeback, the Firedogs ultimately came up short with Williams evening the overall match at one set apiece.
In both the third and fourth, Amherst maintained leads from the very start to clinch the overall victory in four sets, the program’s third consecutive defeat of Williams.
Once again, Kolsky led the Firedogs with 14 kills, but she was supported by nine kills from Sophie Launsbach ’22 and eight kills from Daria Kim-Percy ’21. Duran assisted her teammates 41 times and added 10 digs alongside Dennis, who added five blocks.
Amherst returns to action on Wednesday, Oct. 17 when it will host Clark University at 7 p.m. Next weekend, the Firedogs will host the Hall of Fame Invitational tournament on Friday and Saturday, during which they will take on Wellesley College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Bridgewater State College.