No. 6 Wesleyan Falls to No. 3 Amherst in NESCAC Quarterfinals, 3-0

Photo by Lianne Yun '18
Photo by Lianne Yun '18

THE BASICS:

Score: Amherst 3, Wesleyan 0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-14)
Records: Wesleyan (15-8, 6-4 NESCAC); Amherst (17-8, 7-3 NESCAC)
Location: Medford, Mass. (Cousens Gymnasium @ Tufts)
Date:
Saturday, October 29th
Time: 8 p.m.
The Lead: The sixth-seeded Wesleyan University volleyball team fell to third-seeded Amherst College, 3-0 Friday night in the NESCAC Quarterfinals hosted by top-seeded Tufts University.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Wesleyan scored the first two points of the first set, but an 8-0 run by Amherst put the Purple & White up for good. The Cardinals never got within less than three the rest of the way as Amherst held on for the 25-20 victory.
  • A kill by Gabby Bennett '20 evened the score at 6-6 in the second set, and a service error by Amherst tied it at 7-7, but a 4-0 run by the Purple & White gave them the lead as they never looked back. Amherst closed out the set by scoring four of the final five points en route to a 25-16 win.
  • Amherst used a 12-4 run in the third set to take a decisive 21-10 lead. The deficit proved to be too much to overcome as the Purple & White closed out the match by a score of 25-14.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Wesleyan was led by freshman Nicole Hilton who finished with seven kills and two block assists. Sarah Swenson '18 added six kills, while Kaira Muraoka-Robertson '20 led the team with 18 assists and Olivia Guidotti '20 posted a team-high 15 digs.
  • Maggie Danner posted a game-high 15 kills with a .316 hitting percentage and Nicole Gould finished with 10 kills and a .292 attack mark to lead Amherst. Charlotte Duran and Kate Bres dished out 21 and 19 assists, respectively, and Hayes Honea registered 22 digs.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • Wesleyan qualified for the NESCAC Championships for the first time since the 2010 season and the 13th time in program history.
  • Despite the loss, Wesleyan's future looks bright. In Head Coach Ben Somera's second season at the helm of the program, the Cardinals tripled their win total from a year ago, posting a 15-8 record after finishing 5-15 a year ago and just 1-9 in the conference.
  • The team's six NESCAC wins were the most since the 2008 season, and freshmen Nicole Hilton and Gabby Bennett ranked among the best in the conference in both hitting percentage and blocks throughout most of the year. Both earned NESCAC Player of the Week honors as well.

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals await their NCAA Tournament fate when the bracket is announced Monday, Nov. 7 on NCAA.com at 12:30 p.m. ET.
  • Amherst advances to the NESCAC Semifinals and will play No. 2 Middlebury tomorrow, Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. The winner of that match will play in the NESCAC Championship Sunday, Nov. 6 at 12 p.m.

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