Volleyball downs Colby 3-0 in NESCAC match, then falls 3-1 to Springfield

Ruby Lightbourn had nine kills and eight digs in Bates' 3-0 win over Colby on Sept. 28, 2019. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-14) victory over Colby on Saturday for their first NESCAC win of the season, before falling 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-22, 25-19) to Springfield later the same day in a tripleheader at Alumni Gymnasium.

Springfield defeated Colby 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-12) in the match between the two Bates matches.

Recap: Bates 3, Colby 0 (BOX SCORE)

Junior Ruby Lightbourn (Los Angeles, Calif.) had nine kills with one attack error on 18 attempts (.444), and was the only player in the match with multiple kills in each set. Junior Angel Echipue (Munich, Germany) added eight kills with one error on 14 attempts (.500) to pace the Bobcats in the win over their rival Mules. Bates rose to 1-2 in NESCAC play and 9-3 overall, while Colby dropped to 3-9 and 0-3. Bates attacked at a .311 percentage for the match while limiting Colby to a .021 mark.

Senior Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.; 16 assists, four aces) and first-year Emma Eide (Ramsey, N.J.; 15 assists) split setting duties and senior Gabi Eustache (New York, N.Y.) tallied a match-high 17 digs.

Statistical leaders for Colby included Elizabeth Middlebrook with seven kills on 26 attempts with five errors (.077) and Samantha Schultz with six kills on 22 attempts with seven errors (-.045), including five kills in the final set. Morgan Selby totaled 17 assists with seven digs, and Julia Hutchings contributed a team-high 12 digs.

The first set set the tone for the second and third, as Bates took a 10-5 early lead, then went on a seven-point run with Panepinto serving to expand the lead to 18-9. After a team service error was called against the Mules to make it 22-14, junior Olivia McCulloch (Sunderland, Mass.) served three straight points, using kills by Lightbourn and senior Taylor Stafford-Smith (Calabasas, Calif.) to close out the set.

Colby took an early 6-5 lead in the middle set, but a block by junior Delaney Mayfield (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and sophomore Sydney Phillips (Plainville, Mass.) ignited a 5-0 Bates run to put the Bobcats back in the lead for good. After back-to-back kills by McCulloch and Phillips, Lightbourn served consecutive aces for a 21-11 Bates lead. A Colby service error sealed the set to make it 2-0 in Bates' favor.

Panepinto opened the third set with five straight serves, as Bates took a 4-0 lead on four straight attack errors. A kill by Mayfield and a service ace by senior Jordan Camarillo (Tucson, Ariz.) extended the lead to 9-2. Colby called timeout after a kill by Echipue made it 15-7. The Mules closed the gap to 15-9 with a kill by Schultz and a Bates error, but two kills by Echipue sandwiching a deft dump over the net by Panepinto gave the Bobcats an 11-point advantage at 21-10, and an ace by Lightbourn made it 22-10. A Mules attack error ended the set and the match.

Recap: Springfield 3, Bates 1 (BOX SCORE)

After their 3-0 defeat of Colby, Springfield continued its momentum into its Bates match, while the more rested home squad returned fire for a match chock-full of rallies and lead changes.

The Pride (12-4) committed no attack errors in the first set with 14 kills (.359), and hit at no lower than a .250 rate in subsequent sets. Bates hit at a .227 rate in the first set and a .196 clip in the second set, which the Bobcats won. For the match Springfield had the attacking advantage at .287 to .156. Springfield's 10 team blocks provided another edge for the visitors.

Camryn Bancroft led the Pride with 16 kills on 34 attempts (.412), while Demi Spanos added 15 on 43 attempts (.279) and Bridget Walsh added 10 kills on 20 attempts with no errors (.500). Sara Labadorf paced Springfield's offense with 41 assists and three kills and added 15 digs and three blocks on the defensive side. Anagabrielle Sanchez had a match-high 33 digs and Katie von Kampen totaled a team-high five blocks to go with seven kills with no errors on 20 attempts (.350).

McCulloch and Phillips led Bates with 11 kills apiece, while Mayfield, Lightbourn and Stafford-Smith tallied eight apiece. McCulloch had a team-high 27 digs with four aces, and Lightbourn added 21 digs and four aces as well. Panepinto posted a double-double with 27 assists and 14 digs, and Eide contributed 17 assists and eight digs.

The first set featured 11 ties before Springfield held a short lead from 14-13 to 19-16, where consecutive kills by Phillips closed the gap to 19-18 and a service error tied the score at 19-19. Kills by Spanos and von Kampen gave Springfield a two-point cushion, and back-to-back Bates errors pushed the Bobcats to the brink at 24-21. After a Mayfield kill closed it to 24-22, Springfield's Bridget Walsh rang up a kill to put the Pride in a 1-0 lead.

Bates led an action-packed second set from 7-6 until 15-14. The Pride tied the set at 15-15 and 16-16, but a kill by Mayfield put Bates back in the lead for good at 17-16. Lightbourn rang up kills on three consecutive points to make it 20-16. She later sealed the set for Bates with a service ace to tie it up at 1-1.

Bates jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, prompting a Springfield timeout. The Pride came back within a point at 6-5 and it was 9-8 in Bates' favor before a three-point spurt gave the Bobcats a 13-9 advantage. But back to back kills by Walsh and another by von Kampen fueled Springfield's comeback to close back within one (16-15).

Two straight aces served by McCulloch gave Bates a 20-16 advantage, but Springfield outscored Bates 9-2 to finish out the crucial third set. Bancroft tallied one block and four kills in the run, including the set-clincher.

Spanos helped Springfield finish the job with seven kills and seven digs in the final set. Sanchez had 10 digs in both of the final two sets.

Springfield and Bates were tied at 11 in the fourth and final set before the Pride pulled away in a 10-3 run that made it 21-14. Bancroft against figured large with three kills in the run, and Spanos tallied three as well. After a block by Ashley Tanner and Walsh put Springfield on the brink at 24-19, a dump over the net by Labadorf finished off the Bobcats.

Bates will return to action on Friday at 7pm at home against NESCAC rival Connecticut College, then host Wesleyan the following day at 1pm.