Volleyball falls to hosts in three sets to open Amherst Invitational

Elsie Bernaiche '15
Elsie Bernaiche '15

AMHERST, Mass. (courtesy Amherst College sports information) - The Brandeis University volleyball team dropped its third-straight match tonight, falling to host Amherst College, 3-0, in the opening round of the 2011 Amherst College. Set scores were 25-15, 25-13, 25-22. With the win, the Lord Jeffs improved to 7-2 overall on the year, while the Judges fell to 7-5 on the season.

Finding themselves in an early 2-0 hole, Amherst reeled off nine consecutive points to take a 9-2 edge in the first. The Lord Jeffs later extended their lead to 11 at 20-9, prompting a Brandeis timeout. Coming out of the break, Amherst increased their margin to 13 before securing a 25-15 first set victory.

The Judges again took an early 2-0 lead in the second, only to see the Jeffs rally, building a 6-3 advantage. Brandeis battled back briefly taking a 9-8 lead, but Amherst mounted an 11-2 run, going up 19-11 en route to a comfortable 25-13 triumph.

Also notching the frame's first two scores in the third, the Judges saw the Jeffs make an all too familiar run, with Amherst regaining a 9-6 edge. Hoping to stay alive, Brandeis fought to within one at 17-16, forcing the Lord Jeffs into a timeout. The Judges kept their momentum going following the stoppage, quickly knotting the game at 17 before securing a slim one-point lead on an Amherst error.

Looking to close things out, the Jeffs tallied three of the set's next four points, taking a 20-19 edge on a junior KC Kanoff (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) spike. Extending their lead to 23-21 by blocking a would-be kill, Senior Cristy Meier (San Anselmo, Calif.) later sealed Amherst's 25-22 third set win with her 12th kill of the evening, a match-high performance.

Brandeis was paced by rookie outside hitter Liz Hood (Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque Acad.) and sophomore OH Si-Si Hensley (Fullerton, Calif./Troy) paced the Brandeis offense with six kills apiece, while junior Lauren Berens (Boulder, Colo./Fair View) had five spikes. Sophomore setter Yael Einhorn (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) tallied 15 assists, while rookie libero Elsie Bernaiche (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) collected 12 digs.

Amherst first-year Lauren Antion (Los Angeles, Calif.) added nine kills and three blocks, while senior Mary Reiser (New York, N.Y.) had seven kills, swinging .400. Junior Abigail Hunter (Kentfield, Calif.) and Kanoff combined for nine kills, while junior Callie Neilson (Escondido, Calif.) dished out 34 assists. Junior Kristin Keeno (Honolulu, Hawaii.) finished with a match-best 20 digs.

Amherst, which hit .429 in the second set, finished with a .284 hitting percentage, holding the Judges to a .021 clip that included a -.029 attack rate in the first set.

Brandeis will face the United States Coast Guard Academy at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 to open the second day of competition, with Amherst slated to take on the Bears at 2 p.m.