Firedogs Steamroll Through the Opposition
By Amro El-Adle '13. Managing Sports Editor
Three matches into their season, the women’s volleyball team has yet to drop a single set. Their most recent victim, Emerson, came into LeFrak Gymnasium on Tuesday night as the seventh-ranked Div. III team in the country but left Amherst in tatters.

The Firedogs opened their season at Wellesley, where their frontline proved dominant in registering 10 blocks and 38 kills. Senior tri-captain Laura Hyman made the most of her opportunities, driving in seven kills on nine attacks, while sophomore Callie Neilson served up 30 assists and also led the team with 11 digs. The Blue Pride did not do themselves any favors, either, as their 24 hitting errors proved too costly in the long run.

In their second match, this time against rival Wesleyan, the Jeffs’ showed off a talented array of power and finesse players, with four players smashing down at least six kills each. Katherine Kanoff ’13 led the Jeffs with nine kills, while senior tri-captain Rachel Yorke joined in combining for 56 digs. The second set was by far the most competitive, with the Jeffs pulling it out, 33-31. Kanoff acknowledged “[the] opponents definitely stepped up in the second matches so that made them a bit tighter. That being said, we pushed very hard through the ends of those matches and really refused to let the ball drop.”

For the 14th consecutive season, the Firedogs swept their opponents 3-0 in the home opener, while trouncing Emerson for the fifth-consecutive year. After taking the lead 2-1 in the first set, the Firedogs never looked back, with an 8-1 spurt putting them ahead 21-12.

The second set held a few more rough patches for Amherst, but the Firedogs hung tough, grinding out a 25-17 win. The third set was by far the most troublesome, as Emerson jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and led by as many as six before the Firedogs raced up the comeback trail. With another spurt, this time of the 10-1 variety, the Firedogs fought it out for the 25-22 clincher. “We have high hopes for this season because we are a very evenly balanced team as shown by the stats,” said Kanoff. “Because of this balance our setters are essentially able to set any option which keeps our opponents guessing.”

The team will travel to Middlebury on Friday night looking for their first conference win. And confidence isn’t a problem, at least according to Neilson: “Last weekend, we started the season off very strong. I hope that our energy and enthusiasm will bring us more wins.”

Issue 02, Submitted 2010-09-15 04:14:13