Despite an exceptional effort, it was a tough weekend for women’s volleyball as Bates fell to both Amherst and Williams.
The weekend started off in Williamstown, Massachusetts Friday night, where the Bobcats (5-7, 2-2) fought hard and hung in with a tough Williams Ephs team (9-5, 3-1). Despite their strong efforts, Williams ultimately finished victorious and swept the Bobcats 17-25, 21-25, and 18-25.
Junior Nicole Peraica tallied seven kills to lead the team.
“The Williams game was a very disappointing loss for us because at the end of the game we all knew that we had more to give,” Peraica said. “With that said, there were moments of greatness, but we struggled to maintain that greatness throughout the match. We are at a very competitive part of our schedule and although these losses are hard, they are making us better and stronger as a team. We are determined to work extra hard in practice so that we can face Williams again at the NESCAC Championships.
The determination and competitive nature of the team was definitely evident throughout the entire match. Bates found themselves down 11-4 in the first set but rallied to cut the deficit to 13-12. A service ace from sophomore Augy Silver and two service aces from senior Laryssa Schepel helped spur the rally. But Williams called timeout and proceeded to go on a 5-0 run thanks in part to three errors from the Bobcats. The teams traded points after that but Williams eventually took the first set.
During set two, the Bobcats cut it close with the Ephs as junior Chandler McGrath got her first kill of the match. She would finish the night with six kills. Bates pulled to within three points at 19-16, though Williams rebounded to score four of the next five points and take control of the set.
“Williams is a great team but nothing we can’t handle. We really love competing with the best teams because it forces us to play smarter,” McGrath commented. “Our best playing moments happen when we are confident and aggressive with our offense. Throughout the match, we had good rallies and now we just have to work on being consistent with our energy.”
The Bobcats showcased their confidence and positive energy as they grabbed a 6-5 lead in the third set. Unfortunately, the Ephs would slowly pull away yet again. Williams got 13 kills from Ally Ostrow and 11 kills each from Mia Weinland and Roxi Corbeil in the match.
The challenging weekend continued in Amherst, Massachusetts, where Bates (5-8, 2-3) fell to Amherst (11-1, 4-1) in three straight sets, 14-25, 15-25, and 21-25 on Saturday afternoon.
McGrath had another strong performance, as she tallied a match-high 12 kills. Sophomore Jacqeline Forney also had 16 assists.
Amherst started the match out very strong and outplayed the Bobcats in the first set. Bates fell victim to fast starts from Amherst in each set; Amherst jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and a 3-0 lead in the second. The Bobcats finished with a hitting percentage of .045, while the Lord Jeffs finished with a superior .257 hitting percentage. Amherst also finished with nine aces to Bates’ four, and nine blocks to Bates’ five.
Despite a tough start, the Bobcats played the match with a compelling intensity. They gave Amherst all they could handle in the third set, coming to a 20-20 tie before Lizzie Ahem delivered back-to-back kills. Nicole Carter, who finished with four aces overall, served two late aces, which secured the third set and the match for Amherst.
Among other notable performances for the Bobcats was that of senior Mary Deneen, who contributed three service aces and three blocks, and Silver, who tallied a match-high 12 digs.
The Bobcats look to showcase their competitive drive and cohesive team dynamic to end their three-match losing streak, as they compete at Tufts on Friday night.