It is do or die for the women’s volleyball team. As the home stretch of the season begins, NESCAC teams are jockeying for position to qualify for the 8-team conference tournament. Featured prominently in the Back to Bates weekend schedule, the Bobcat volleyball team secured two crucial conference victories against Wesleyan and Trinity. Bates, 6-9 (3-3), are now tied for 6th place in the NESCAC, just a game and half out of second place, and are now in great position to not only qualify for the postseason conference tournament, but for one of the top seeds.

“The combination of playing in our home gym as well as having the support of our families felt like the perfect culmination of circumstances,” said Chandler McGrath ‘17.

Bates efficiently dispatched their opponents, winning all six sets they played by five points or more. McGrath was the star of the weekend, tallying a total of 31 kills in the two combined matches. Through six total conferences matches, McGrath now ranks first in the NESCAC in kills per set, averaging an impressive 4.1. McGrath is leads the NESCAC in points per set, scoring at a 4.4 point per set clip.

Bates’ next match is away against Tufts, 14-1 (7-0) who sit comfortably at the top of the standings with a two and a half game lead over the teams tied for second. This match will be a challenge, but the combined conference record of Bates’ three remaining opponents after Tufts is just 9-10. There is still a lot of volleyball left to be played, but this past weekend’s performance has set the ‘cats up for success at the end of the year.