Volleyball Secures Fourth Seed in NESCAC Tournament

The volleyball team concluded their regular season with two wins in Maine against Bates and Colby, which cemented the Mammoths as the No. 4 seed for this weekend’s NESCAC tournament.

Volleyball Secures Fourth Seed in NESCAC Tournament
Volleyball closed their regular season on a high note with two important NESCAC wins. Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios.

The volleyball team concluded their regular season this past weekend with two important wins in Maine, defeating Bates on Friday, Oct. 28, before routing Colby on Saturday, Oct. 29.

In their first match of the weekend against Bates, the Mammoths came out uncharacteristically slowly, losing the first set 18-25, before dispatching the Bobcats in the following three sets. After the loss in set one, the Mammoths quickly regained their grip on the match in set two, never trailing at any point during the set. They jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after two kills from Anaya Thomas ’25 and one from Caroline Tilton ’23. Their lead then ballooned to 13-5, and though the Bobcats fought back with four straight points, the Mammoths went on a four-point run of their own to extend the margin to 17-9. The teams proceeded to trade points, but Sami Underwood ’23, who finished the game with 12 kills, ended the set with an ace for a 25-16 win.

The Mammoths faced more adversity in the third set, finding themselves down 11-9, but a crucial 5-0 run swung the momentum back to their side. Carly Cooper ’24 ignited the run, setting up kills for Thomas and Tilton before causing three straight attack errors off of her serves. The Bobcats made things close once again late in the set, shrinking their deficit to just two, at 17-15, but an Underwood kill and consecutive aces from Lani Uyeno ’23 pushed the Mammoths’ lead back up, and they saw out the set for a 25-17 victory.

In what turned out to be the fourth and final set, the Mammoths again capitalized on an opportunistic run to extend their lead. With the set tied at 10 apiece, the Mammoths scored the next seven points to swing the game in their favor and take a 17-10 lead. Tilton started the run with a kill of an Uyeno assist, and the Mammoths racked up the next six points off of services from Katelyn Hamasaki ’24. The Mammoths closed out the match with another ace from Underwood, ending the set 25-15 and taking a 3-1 win.

The Mammoths then traveled even further north to take on Colby. They didn’t let the long bus ride deter them, though, as they dominated the Mules in a 3-0 sweep.

After a relatively simple 25-16 win in the first set, the Mammoths ran into some trouble in set two. The Mammoths just couldn’t seem to put the Mules away — a 14-7 Amherst lead shrunk to just two points after Colby rallied to score five consecutive points, and after the Mammoths reached set point with the score at 24-18, the Mules scored five straight points once again to narrow the lead to one. However, Thomas finally sealed the set with a kill for a 25-23 win. The third and final set was a much more comfortable victory for the Mammoths, with a combined block from Thomas and Kinsey Cronin ’25 concluding the game for a 25-13 third-set victory.

With a final record of 13-6 overall, including a 7-3 mark in NESCAC play, the Mammoths have earned the fourth seed in the NESCAC tournament for the second time in the past three seasons. On Friday, Nov. 4, they will travel to Middletown, Connecticut, for the conference tournament hosted by No. 1 seed Wesleyan, to play No. 5-seeded Bowdoin, the tournament’s defending champion. Bowdoin defeated the Mammoths in last year’s semifinal round 3-2, but the Mammoths were victorious when the two sides met on Sept. 30. The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.