Nov. 9, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball New England Regional saw its first upset of the weekend as No. 3 Amherst College edged out No. 2 Williams College, 24-30, 30-27, 30-23, 21-30, 15-11 on Friday afternoon. The Lord Jeffs (29-4) will face either No. 1 MIT or No. 4 Wellesley College in the regional final at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Ephs closed the season with a record of 28-8.
Amherst opened the match with four straight points, but Williams gradually overcame the deficit and went ahead at 11-10 on a service ace by Whitney Hitchcock. After two more ties, a kill by Alisha Cahlan gave the Ephs the lead for good at 16-15.
The second stanza was a back-and-forth affair as it featured 10 ties and four lead changes. The Lord Jeffs established a 15-11 edge before Williams countered with a 9-4 run. Following six more ties, a hitting error returned the advantage to Amherst at 28-27 and helped it seal the game.
The Ephs raced out to an 8-2 lead in the third game, but the Lord Jeffs battled back and tied it up at 14. Each side exchanged points until a kill by Whitney Kouvaris sparked 12-5 run by Amherst to close out the frame.
In the fourth game, a hitting miscue by the Lord Jeffs ignited an 8-2 run that put the Ephs up 14-8. Amherst closed the gap to four multiple times, the last occurring at 20-16. Seven unanswered points from Williams put the game out of reach and forced the extra session.
After exchanging points to start the final game, a strike by Claire Holton-Basald touched off 5-2 spurt that resulted in an 8-4 edge for Amherst at the changeover. The Ephs narrowed their deficit to two (10-8), but they could not muster a late rally as the Lord Jeffs held on for the win.
Jaclyn DeMais paced Amherst's attack with 30 kills to go along with 24 digs. Kouvaris followed with 27 kills and four blocks as Holton-Basald amassed 15 kills. Jackie Berkley contributed 12 kills and five blocks while Rachel Yorke posted 40 digs. Sara Heller notched 78 assists and 16 digs as Bethany Belisle rounded out the defense with 17 digs.
Ballon-Landa paced Williams with 19 kills and 10 blocks as Melissa Pun rattled off 17 kills and 22 digs. Emily Avis registered the Ephs' third double-double on 60 assists and 16 digs. Cahlan rounded out the attack with 13 kills while Chelsea Kubal led the defense with 31 digs.