Echipue, Stafford-Smith lead volleyball to 3-0 win over Connecticut College

Taylor Stafford-Smith (left) and Angel Echipue (right) paced Bates' attack in a 3-0 victory over Connecticut College on Oct. 4, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Junior Angel Echipue had 11 kills and senior Taylor Stafford-Smith had nine, including five apiece in the closely contested third set, as the Bates volleyball team downed Connecticut College 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-21) in a NESCAC match on Friday night in Alumni Gym.

Bates (10-4, 2-2 NESCAC) recorded its best attack percentage in a match (.344) since Sept. 7, the second day of the season, committing only seven attack errors over three sets.

Echipue (Munich, Germany) led the Bobcats with 11 kills and two errors on 17 attempts (.529), while Stafford-Smith (Calabasas, Calif.) added nine kills with one error on 19 attempts (.421) to pace an efficient Bates attack. Junior Delaney Mayfield (Santa Barbara, Calif.) posted five kills with no errors on 11 attempts (.455).

Senior Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) totaled 17 assists and first-year Emma Eide (Ramsey, N.J.) added 12, to go with a match-high five service aces. Senior Gabi Eustache (New York, N.Y.) led all players with 14 digs, while junior Olivia McCulloch (Sunderland, Mass.) and Stafford-Smith added 12 and 11 digs, respectively.

Katie Howley led Connecticut College (6-7, 0-4 NESCAC) in kills (nine against four errors on 26 attempts, .192) and digs (10), as 15 Camels saw action over three sets. Grace McGee added 20 assists and seven digs.

The Bobcats pounced on the Camels at the outset of the match, attacking at a .550 percentage in the first set as a team while limiting the visitors to a .036 rate. Three kills by Echipue, one by Stafford-Smith and a service ace by Panepinto gave Bates a 5-0 lead. The lead grew to 14-4, prompting Connecticut College's first timeout. Sophomore Sydney Phillips (Plainville, Mass.) had two kills to return serve to Bates down the stretch, and the Bobcats tallied the last three points of the set, with two attack errors by the Camels and an ace by Eide.

The second set started out evenly and was tied at 5-5. Back-to-back aces by Eide gave Bates an 8-5 cusyhion, and back-to-back kills by Mayfield extended the lead to 10-6. The Camels edged back to an 11-9 deficit before Stafford-Smith sandwiched an Echipue kill with two of her own to make it 14-9. Sophomore Brettney Fuller (Temple, Texas) helped Bates hold off the Camels with a pair of aces for a 19-11 lead, and a pair of kills by senior Samantha Schecter (Riverside, Conn.) down the stretch put Bates on the doorstep at 24-14. A service error gave Bates the 2-0 lead.

The final set featured six lead changes and 12 ties, with both sides unable to establish momentumm. Consecutive kills by Stafford-Smith flipped the lead to Bates for the last time at 20-19, and Eustache served six times in a row to make it 24-20. Stafford-Smith ended the match with a kill.

Bates committed five of its seven attack errors in the third set, but Echipue and Stafford-Smith posted a combined 10 kills on 15 attempts in the set, while Eustache and Eide kept the Camels off balance with three and two service aces, respectively.

Bates will host Wesleyan University (11-2, 3-1) Saturday at 1pm.