Eastern gives Amherst late run in two sets in three-set setback
AMHERST, Mass. -- Returning to action after a week layoff, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's volleyball team battled Amherst College before falling in straight sets Tuesday night at LeFrak Gymnasium. Amherst won, 25-13, 25-20, 25-20.
At left: Kristianna Ibsen (foreground), Taylor Abelli and Britt Carrier combined for 26 digs and handled 42 reception attempts wtih five errors Tuesday night.
The second-ranked New England team in the AVCA Division III national poll, Amherst (18-1)won its 15th straight match, with only an early-season loss separting it from a perfect season. Amherst has beaten Eastern (11-12) the last nine times the teams have met after the Warriors won the first three matches in this series.
Eastern, which has lost two straight after a three-match winning streak, was tied with Amherst as late as 17-17 in the second set and 16-16 in the third set. Trailing 22-20 in the second set, Eastern commited two attack errors and Amherst converted an attack attempt. A kill by sophomore middle Katie Wilson (Pittsburg, CA) pulled Eastern to within 19-18 in the third set before Amherst scored four straight to take command.
There were ten ties in the second set before the hosts broke that final 17-all deadlock with two points in a row on a kill and an Eastern attack error. Down 12-9, Eastern pulled even on Amherst service error, a kill by freshman outside Erynn Miller (Stratford) and a re-directed kill by junior setter Samantha Slonski (Griswold).
Eastern scrapped back from an early three-point deficit in the third set, scoring six of the next seven points to take a two-point advantage. Junior outside Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) had a kill and ace in that run and sophomore outside Danielle Bourne (Branford) an ace. The Warriors held a slim edge through the middle of the match, pushing the lead to four, 15-11, on the strength of kills by Slonski, Miller and Ibsen. Amherst finally pulled even and took the lead for good, 17-16 on a kill.
Amherst, which featured five players standing six-feet or better, and five starters from the West Coast, concluded its regular season unbeaten at home (9-0). Six-foot-one inch junior Cristy Meier led her team with 12 kills and sophomore Katherine Kanoff added ten. Sophomore setter Callie Neilson totalled 37 assists and senior libero Rachel Yorke dug up 25 balls..
Miller led Eastern with nine kills to go along with 12 digs. Ibsen had eight kills, a .333 attack percentage, and two blocks and junior libero Taylor Abelli (Cheshire) 13 digs, Slonski chipped in six kills, a .417 attack percentange, and led the way with 17 assists. Junior Britt Carrier (Southington) came off the bench to add eight digs.
Eastern visits Mitchell College Wednesday at 7 p.m
.Amherst College 3, Eastern Conn. 0
Eastern Conn. (11-12) 13 20 20
Amherst (18-1) 25 25 25