Score: Amherst 3, Wesleyan 2 (23-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-20, 15-8)
Records: Wesleyan (15-7, 6-4 NESCAC); Amherst (16-8, 7-3 NESCAC)
Location: Amherst, Mass. (LeFrak Gymnasium)
Date: Saturday, October 29th
Time: 12 p.m.
The Lead: The Wesleyan University volleyball team was edged by Little Three rival Amherst College Saturday afternoon in a five-set thriller, 3-2.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cardinals edged Amherst in a close first set, 25-23. Trailing by three late, the Purple & White scored three straight to even the score at 22-22. However, Wesleyan scored three of the next four points as Madeleine Lundberg '19 sealed the win with a kill.
- Amherst responded in the second set. Tied at 8-8, a kill from Emily Kolsky put the home team up for good, and an 8-2 run by the Purple & White down the stretch gave them a 25-18 win.
- Tied at 17-17 in the third game, a kill from Gabby Bennett '20 led to a 6-0 Wesleyan run as it scored eight of the final nine points to go ahead in the match, 2-1.
- The fourth set featured another close game as an attack error by Amherst evened the score at 18-18. However, the Purple & White scored four straight to close out the set and force a fifth game.
- It was all Amherst in the fifth, as the home team jumped out to an 11-5 lead. Wesleyan got within four, but the Purple & White closed it out with a 3-0 run down the stretch.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Three players recorded double-digit kills for Wesleyan, as the Cardinals were led by Lundberg, Stasie Litinsky '20 and Nicole Hilton '20 with 14, 13 and 12, respectively. Mia Hogan '20 added eight kills and 10 digs, and Bennett recorded seven kill and nine blocks. Kaira Muraoka-Robertson '20 dished out a game-high 54 assists, and Olivia Guidotti '20 recorded a game-high 25 digs.
- Maggie Danner led all players with 24 kills, while Nicole Gould added 13 for Amherst. Charlotte Duran and Adelaide Shunk dished out 25 and 21 assists, respectively, while Shunk added 11 digs. Hayes Honea registered a team-high 22 digs and Marialexa Natsis tallied eight blocks.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Despite the loss, Wesleyan has clinched a berth to the NESCAC Tournament for the first time since the 2010 season and has earned the sixth seed.
- After a 5-15 campaign a year ago, in which the Cardinals went 1-9 in conference play, Wesleyan completely turned things around in 2016 and finished the regular season with a 15-7 mark and a 6-4 NESCAC record.
- Wesleyan and Amherst will meet again in the 2016 NESCAC Volleyball Championship next Friday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. The three-day tournament is hosted by Tufts, the No. 1 seed, with the quarterfinals on Friday, semifinals on Saturday, and the championship match scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 6.