WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. --The Bates College volleyball team battled Williams College through five sets, but fell 3-2 in a NESCAC match played in the Ephs' John Wesley Chandler Gymnasium.
Williams won the first set 25-11. The Bobcats rallied for a 28-26 victory in set No. 2, and came out on top 25-23 in the third set. The Ephs won the final two sets 25-16 and 15-9. Williams improves to 11-5 overall and 4-2 in the NESCAC, while the Bobcats are now 11-6 overall and 3-4 in conference matches.
Junior Delaney Mayfield (Santa Barbara, Calif.) led Bates with 14 kills. Senior Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) added 20 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore Megan Seabury (Santa Barbara, Calif.) logged 16 digs. Senior Gabi Eustache (New York, N.Y.) added 15 digs. First-year Emma Eide (Ramsey, N.J.) added 16 assists, seven digs and four service aces.
Erin Deham led Williams with 22 kills. Alexandra Newton had a match-high 38 assists and added 17 digs. Lydia Kurtz logged a match-high 29 digs and added 16 kills and two service aces.
The first set opened up when Natalie Albright had a key block to give the Ephs an 8-6 lead. Williams then went on a five-point run led by Albright's strong serves. Bates wasn't able to respond only notching five more points. Junior Ruby Lightbourn (Los Angeles, Calif.) tallied three kills in the set for Bates
Bates rallied in the second set. The Bobcats built an early 10-5 lead led by two kills from junior Angel Echipue (Munich, Germany). Williams gathered behind a kill from Lydia Kurtz and strong serving from Daiana Takashima to tie the set at 13-13. This set saw ten more ties. Errors at the end of the set cost the Ephs, as an error tied the set at 26-26. Another error and a kill from Mayfield gave Bates the victory.
In the third set, the Bobcats played more confidently. With an 11-7 Williams lead, Bates capitalized on a kill from Mayfield to return the ball, and from there, the Bobcats went on a seven-point run. The run was highlighted by kills from Echipue, Eide, and senior Taylor Stafford-Smith (Calabasas, Calif.). Williams rallied to tie the set at 22-22 but suffered from a service error. Bates junior Olivia McCulloch (Sunderland, Mass.) stepped up to the service line and earned the 23-22 lead with an ace and the Bobcats secured the 25-23 victory to go up 2-1 in the match.
In the fourth set, Williams jumped out to an early 11-5 lead instigated by two blocks by Olivia Hindy. Mayfield logged four kills in the set for Bates, but Williams earned the 25-16 victory, pushing the match to a fifth set.
In the final set, Bates and Williams were back and forth, but the turning point came when Williams' Lydia Kurtz earned a kill through a cross court roll shot to tie things up at 7-7. The Ephs build a 10-7 lead behind another kill from Lydia Kurtz, a service ace from Alexandra Newton, and a kill from Anna Tosolini. Bates threatened with a kill from Lightbourn, but the Ephs secured a 15-9 victory and won the match.
The Bobcats are back in action on Friday, Oct. 18, when they travel to compete in the Hall of Fame Tournament at Amherst. Bates will face Bridgewater State at 5 p.m. and then take on Bard at 7 p.m. on the first day of the tournament.