The women’s volleyball team has won three of their past four games, including wins in their last two against Simmons and Plymouth State on Saturday, Sep. 30. These wins are very important to the team’s resume. Captain Jacqueline Forney ’18 said after the games: “The wins position us for a regional ranking which will certainly help us when tournament time comes around.” On the wins and becoming regionally ranked, Augy Silver ’18 said, “It is awesome for team morale. We have been having a ton of fun.”
The first game on Saturday was a 3-0 win over Simmons, in which Forney had 26 assists. Angel Echipue ’21 had 11 kills, leading to a .611 kill percentage, while Gabi Eustache ’20 led the team with 15 digs. The team’s kill percentage was .276 while Simmons’ kill percentage was only .011.
The second game, against Plymouth State, was a 3-1 win. Eustache led the team with 30 digs while Ruby Lightbourn ’21 had 12 kills, leading the team. In this match, the Bobcats’ kill percentage was .194, while Plymouth State’s kill percentage was only .104.
With the two wins this past weekend, Bates improves to 7-6 on the season. Silver ’18 says, “We are feeling confident moving forward”. This sentiment was echoed by Forney, who is “excited and eager for what’s to come”. These optimistic feelings come at a point in the season where the schedule becomes more in the Bobcats’ favor. Silver says, “The hardest and most travel-heavy section of our season is over and we all feel that we are hitting our stride in the coming weekends at home”. This certainly seems like it will be a boon as the season continues.
Looking ahead, the team has a slew of NESCAC games coming up, beginning with Hamilton this Friday, Oct. 6 and Williams on Saturday. Following these comes Bowdoin the following Tuesday, and the next weekend has Connecticut College on Friday, Oct. 13 and Wesleyan the day after. All five of these games will be at home. Silver says, “Moving forward we hope to win the rest of our NESCAC games and get some experience in our fall break games in Wisconsin”. Between the conference play coming up and the road trip afterwards, there will be plenty of opportunity for the team to come together even more. On the team dynamic, Forney says, “We’ve placed a greater emphasis on off-season communication so that our first-years have an easier transition into the program and college play. Our communication has consisted of core team values and what the program strives to accomplish during their time here at Bates. This has undoubtedly translated to court play and made for a great start to the season. Although we’ve lost a few key NESCAC games each one has been close to the very end. Give us a month and those losses will turn into wins.”
With the upcoming conference games, Forney speaks of keeping the focus tight each match while looking ahead to the season as a whole. She says, “The main goal is to focus on a game at a time, a set at a time, and a point at a time. It’s an expectation to make NESCACs [playoffs], however we know it’ll be a challenge. Everyday Coach emphasizes to focus on the process. If we believe and trust in the process, we’ll be just fine.”