AMHERST, Mass. - The Endicott women's volleyball team took down a pair of NESCAC opponents on Saturday, defeating Wesleyan (Conn.) 3-1 in the first match before taking down host Amherst 3-1 as well.
With the win, Endicott improves to 11-6 on the season. Wesleyan, after falling to Endicott and defeating Amherst 3-0, moves to 10-2, while Amherst falls to 10-2 with the two setbacks. All three teams were ranked in the most recent NEWVA Regional Poll, as Wesleyan was fifth, Amherst 10th, and Endicott 12th.
Endicott 3 Wesleyan 1 (25-15, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19)
Behind a match-high 21 kills from Emma Mancini (Lynnfield, Mass.) and a career-best 15 kills from Amanda Gilbert (Hopkinton, Mass.), Endicott defeated the Cardinals 3-1 on neutral soil in the opening match of the day. Entering the day
Mancini's 21 kills came on 77 attempts and accompanined an 11 dig performance for her fourth double-double of the season. Gilbert, a freshman outside, produced her 15 kills on 38 swings with just two errors to hit .342 for the match while also adding 10 digs. The double-double is the first of her collegiate career. Zoey Gifford (Natick, Mass.) directed the Gulls to the 3-1 win by notching a match-high 47 assists to go with 10 digs and two aces. The double-double was the ninth of the season for the junior setter.
With the defensive efforts playing a pivotal role in the team's 3-1 win, libero Mackenzie Kennedy (Andover, Mass.) was once again at the forefront of that effort, collecting a match-high 33 digs as Endicott limited Wesleyan to a .150 average. The 33 digs were also a new season and career-high for the junior. Opposite Remi Quesnelle (Sunderland, Mass.) was also a bright spot in the match, filling out the box score with six kills, 18 digs, three aces and three assist blocks.
Endicott 3 Amherst 1 (25-21, 14-25, 25-23, 26-24)
The Gulls were able to complete the 3-0 week with the 3-1 win over Amherst to cap it off.
Mancini was dominant against the hosts, exploding for 26 kills on 56 swings while hitting at a .393 clip. The senior also picked up seven digs and two block assists for a match-high 27 points. Quesnelle again came up big for the Gulls, producing 14 kills on 37 swings with just one error for a .351 average while adding four digs, two blocks and an ace.
Gifford ran an extremely efficient offense which produced 61 kills in just four sets of play as Endicott out-hit Amherst .232 to .191 in the win. Of those 61 kills Gifford assisted on 45 of them while also grabbing 15 digs for her 10th double-double of the year. With her 45 assists in the second match, Gifford eclipsed the 2,000 career assist mark as she currently sits at 2,019, good for fifth all-time in Endicott history.
Libero Mackenzie Kennedy again led all players defensively, picking up 23 digs in the win to give her 299 for the season. Emma Jutras () and Nicholle Trudon (Coventry, Conn.) combined for 13 digs as defensive specialists, helping Endicott out-dig Amherst by an 80-69 final.
Endicott, now 11-6 (2-0 CCC), will return to the friendly confines of MacDonald Gymnasium to host cross-town and CCC rival Gordon on Wednesday at 7:00 PM, and a non-conference tri-match of Plymouth St. and Babson on Saturday.
(Photo credit - David Le '10)