Rankin '20 hammers 11 kills in volleyball loss to Amherst

Giuliana Rankin '20 (Josh McKee photo)
Giuliana Rankin '20 (Josh McKee photo)

Amherst College's Emily Kolsky posted 11 kills and 10 digs and the Mammoths recorded a three-set NESCAC victory against the Hamilton College Continentals at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Friday night.

The Continentals (10-12, 3-6 NESCAC) are hanging on to eighth place in the conference standings with one match remaining. The top eight teams at the end of the regular season advance to the 2019 NESCAC Volleyball Championship at a site to be determined on Friday, Nov. 8. Hamilton hosts Middlebury College (13-9, 5-4) on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. The Continentals will honor Giuliana Rankin '20 and Kendall Searcy '20 during a senior recognition ceremony prior to Saturday's match.

Amherst (18-5, 6-3) is in fourth place in the conference standings. The Mammoths took advantage of Hamilton's 27 attack errors and nine service errors. The set scores were 25-21, 26-24 and 25-22.

Rankin paced the Continentals with 11 kills. She leads the NESCAC with 3.65 kills per set and is second with a total of 270 this fall. Deirdre Corrigan '23 posted her fourth straight double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Dorothy Poucher '21 chipped in six kills and five blocks. Emma Parkhurst '21 handed out 28 assists, including the 1,000th of her career, and Maddy LaPoint '22 tied a career high with five service aces. Nikki Matsuoka '21 led all players with 19 digs and Searcy added 12. Matsuoka is second in the conference with 5.61 digs per set and third with a total of 415.

Sophie Launsbach had nine kills and one error in 24 hitting attempts for Amherst. Charlotte Duran and Jacqueline Kortekaas shared setting duties and finished with 15 and 12 assists, respectively. Skyleur Savage led the defense with 17 digs and Claire Dennis came up with four blocks.

There were seven ties and two lead changes in the first set. A Rankin kill gave Hamilton a 13-12 edge but the Mammoths took the lead for good by recording the next three points. The Continentals were still within a point at 16-15 until Amherst gave itself some breathing room with four straight. Launsbach closed out the set with a kill.

The second set featured wild momentum swings. The Mammoths bolted to a 10-2 advantage and it seemed they would coast to the two-set lead as they enjoyed an 11-point cushion at 16-5. Hamilton scored the next 10 points on a run that was kicked off by a kill by Poucher. LaPoint served the next nine points thanks to six Amherst attack errors and a pair of aces. Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the set. The Continentals took a 23-22 lead on a LaPoint kill but the Mammoths scored four of the next five points. Dennis had two kills, Jamie Dailey had another and Pearl Acord ended the set with an ace.

The third set was tight all the way as there were eight ties and five lead changes and the largest lead for either team was three points. Hamilton grabbed a 21-20 edge after an Amherst attack error, but the Mammoths scored the next four points on errors by the Continentals. After a kill by Corrigan, Amherst ended the match on a kill by Cameron Hendricks, who finished with three.