The volleyball team was back in full force this week after falling short in two straight NESCAC games at Tufts University and Bowdoin College, dropping their record to 5-3 in conference play. The Firedogs were looking for a big bounce-back weekend, as they look to return to their winning ways in time for NESCAC playoffs, which start in two weeks. This weekend, they did just that, dominating their two matches this weekend against Wellesley College and Westfield State University, winning both by a score of 3-0.
On Oct. 22, the Firedogs competed against Wellesley College and took home a 3-0 sweep. The Firedogs came out strong, winning the first set 25-17, and kept their momentum going from there. Led by Jamie Dailey ’22E and Sophie Launsbach ’22, Amherst kept the flow of play on their side into the second set, where the Firedogs again dominated 25-14 and took a commanding 2-0 lead.
The Firedogs’ chemistry was one of main contributors to their success, with Carly Cooper ’24 leading the team with 33 assists on Friday evening. However, the team had grit their teeth in the third and final set, and battling through strong opposition in order to clinch the victory. It was a back-and-forth contest and Wellesley was not giving up without a fight, giving Amherst everything they had.
In the end, through great determination and stellar execution, the Firedogs were able to squeak out the win in a 25-23 third set off a kill from Caroline Tilton ’23, her fifth of the evening. Fittingly, it came from a great assist from Cooper.
The next day, the Firedogs faced off against Westfield State at 2 p.m. Amherst hosted the Owls earlier in the season and beat them in straight sets. This game would not be much different, as the Firedogs carried over their momentum from Friday into this game, notching another dominant 3-0 sweep over the Owls.
The Firedogs came out of the gates dominant, winning the first set 25-16. The team’s stellar play was capped off by a beauty of an ace by Sami Underwood ’23. The Firedogs got contributions from many players on Saturday, and the team’s collective success continued into the second set. Their performance was arguably even more impressive in this set, winning in a 25-11 landslide. Katelyn Hamasaki ’24 finished off the set with a kill off a great dig from Lizzie Papalia ’25 and an assist from Jacqueline Kortekaas ’23. It would be one of Kortekaas team-leading 16 assists of the day as the Firedogs headed into the third set up 2-0.
The third set did not prove to be as dramatic as the Wellesley game on Friday, but it brought a lot of excitement for the Firedogs, who capped off another win by a score of 25-18. Kortekaas ended the match with a kill, putting the final touches on an excellent match for her, and improving the Firedogs’ record to 13-3 overall and 5-3 in the NESCAC.
The Firedogs will be traveling to Boston on Oct. 26 to play against UMass Boston and then return home for NESCAC matchups against Hamilton on Oct. 29 and Williams on Oct. 30.