Kristin Quinn & Jaclyn DeMais
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Senior co-captain Kristin Quinn (left) and junior outside-hitter Jaclyn DeMais have led the Jeffs all season.

Jeffs Drop Heartbreaker to Archrival Williams, 3-2

October 17, 2006

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Amherst College volleyball team lost a nail-biter to NESCAC and Little Three archrival Williams College in a clash of the NESCAC volleyball titans. Coming into the match, Amherst (19-2, 5-2 NESCAC) was second in the standings to Williams, despite having a better overall record.

The Jeffs and Ephs alternated games all night, with Williams winning the crucial first game, 30-22.  Amherst took the second and fourth games, 33-31 and 30-22, respectively, while Williams took the third and fifth games, 30-26 and 15-13, respectively.  The match was about as even as most had anticipated, but the Ephs outlasted Amherst to retain their first-place spot in the NESCAC standings. 

Junior outside-hitters Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ) and Whitney Kouvaris (Jacksonville, FL) did all they could in their attempt to hand Williams its first conference loss, recording 22 and 21 kills, respectively, while taking some pressure off of senior co-captain Kristin Quinn (Pacific Palisades, CA), who recorded 14 kills on the day.  Sophomore Sara Heller (La Canada, CA) and junior Julie Berkley (Fullerton, CA) were solid once again for Amherst, with Heller racking up 56 assists and Berkley totaling 31 digs. 

Williams improves to 19-4 (8-0 NESCAC) and sits comfortably in the top spot of the NESCAC ahead of second-place Amherst and Tufts, who both stand at 5-2 in conference play.  With the win, the Ephs clinch the 2006 Little Three title.  

Despite the loss, Amherst has marched to the best start in school history with only a few weeks left in the season. Leading the team all season has been the sensational combination of senior co-captain Kristin Quinn (Pacific Palisades, CA) and junior outside-hitter Jaclyn DeMais (Hillsdale, NJ). With the dynamic duo, Amherst leads the NESCAC in hitting percentage and blocks, while Quinn is the individual leader in hitting percentage with a mind-blowing .480 percentage (.142 above the second ranked hitter). Quinn also leads the NESCAC in blocks, registering 1.41 per game.

Head coach Sue Everden has coached at Amherst for 21 seasons, and has had a number of teams with exceptional record over her time, but she feels there is something special about this year’s group. She notes their “hard work and ability to laugh at themselves” as reasons for their success. Everden believes that because they do not take themselves too seriously, they have not been caught up in their record. “Their chemistry makes a streak like this possible without being the end-all.”

Amherst returns to action this Friday when they will host the Volleyball Hall of Fame Tournament and take on Wheaton College.  Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.