Firedogs Continue Seven-Match Streak
By Karan Bains '14, Staff Writer
Over the past quarter-century, Amherst volleyball has been synonymous with success under coach Sue Everden, racing to a record of 10-1 or better in four of the past five years. So it should come as no surprise that this year’s team continues to pile up victories as it heads into the busiest month of the season. This year’s edition of the Firedogs improved to 10-1 last weekend and extended their winning streak to seven games by blowing out a pair of opponents at Bates College.

The host Bobcats were overwhelmed by the Amherst attack from the beginning of the match. Motivated to earn their first conference win after in the NESCAC opener, the Firedogs came out strong on Friday with a lopsided first set win by a score of 25-12. The next two frames proved slightly more competitive, but the Firedogs remained firmly in control throughout, securing the win with sets of 25-19 and 25-14 to beat Bates for the seventh consecutive time. Amherst, ranked seventh in the weekly New England Women’s Volleyball Association Regional Poll prior to the game, received solid contributions across the board in this matchup.

Mary Reiser ’12 led the attack with eight kills, with Katherine Kanoff ’12 and Christy Meier ’12 adding seven kills each. Reiser expressed great confidence in the talent level of the team, claiming, “We have an exceptionally strong team this year . . . when we execute properly we can beat anyone.” The team captains, in addition to providing on-court leadership, also put up some impressive numbers. Rachel Yorke ’11 paced the defense with 20 digs, while the other two captains, Laura Hyman ’11 and Jackie Berkley ’11, combined for 11 kills.

Still hungry for more NESCAC success, the Firedogs showed no sign of slowing down as they went up against Colby on Saturday morning. The team improved its conference record to 2—1 by sweeping the first three sets against the Mules, giving Colby no chance to mount a comeback. The first two sets proved relatively close with scores of 25—17 and 25—20, but the Firedogs never let up and dominated the final frame 25—8.

The team put up a balanced stat line, with four players posting five kills or more. On defense, Erin Camp ’11 led the team with 18 digs. In addition, Berkley was all over the net throughout the match, racking up seven total blocks. Hyman and Meier also added four blocks each. The great team effort prompted Hyman to praise her squad: “We’re pleased with how the team is coming together so far. We have really good chemistry on and off the court and I think communication has really been one of our strongest assets this year.”

After dominating the weekend at Bates, the Firedogs travel to Western New England College on Wednesday, Oct. 6 before heading to Middlebury next weekend to play Tufts and Bowdoin. However, despite the early success, the captains will not let the team relax. “There are still elements of our game that could use some improvement,” the captains stated. “We need to work on maintaining a consistently fast pace throughout the entire match and controlling the things we can control — like closing the block and serve-receiving.” This thirst for improvement should lead to more positive results as the Firedogs strive to earn their fifth consecutive season with 20 or more victories.

Issue 05, Submitted 2010-10-06 04:07:32