2017 Little East Offensive Player of the Year (Jess Williamson)

Bates Rallies to Down Southern Maine 3-1

JUnior Rachel Chillé (file photo by Jason Johns).
JUnior Rachel Chillé (file photo by Jason Johns).

Bates Rallies to Down Southern Maine 3-1

            GORHAM, Maine -- The unbeaten Bates College Bobcats rallied from a set down to defeat the host University of Southern Maine Huskies 3-1 (22-25, 25-7, 25-20, 25-15) in non-conference volleyball action Tuesday evening at the Costello Sports Complex.

            The Bobcats extended their season-opening winning streak to eight matches to improve to 8-0 overall.  The Huskies dropped their sixth straight match to slip to 3-7 overall.

            Southern Maine took the opening set behind some strong attacking from sophomore Kacey Foerster (Scarborough, Maine).  The Huskies attacked at a .375 success rate in the opening set.

            After dropping just their second set of the season, the Bobcats came roaring back behind the serving of junior Olivia McCulloch in the second set.  McCulloch, who finished the match with 10 service aces, sparked a run of 18 consecutive Bates points to overcome an 11-6 deficit.

            Bates pull away in the middle of the pivotal third set, again with McCulloch at the serve, to go ahead 2-1.  The decisive fourth set was tied at 8-8 when the Bobcats strung together four straight points to take command.  USM hung close, but never could put together a big run of points to get back into the set.

            For the Huskies, Foerster earned her fourth double-double of the season with a match-high 13 kills and 11 digs.  Senior Kylee Austin (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) added six kills and had three block assists.  Junior Jamie Jannarone (Windham, Maine) and sophomore Sophie Lindsay (Pasadena, Calif.) each had five kills.  Lindsay also dished off 22 assists.

            Junior Delaney Mayfield (Santa Barbara, Calif.) led the Bates offense with 11 kills on 20 attacks.  Classmate Ruby Lightboum (Los Angeles, Calif.) added nine kills, and McCulloch and junior Angel Echipue (Munich, Germany) had six kills apiece.  Rookie Emma Eide (Ramsey, N.J.) passed out 19 assists, and senior Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) had 12 assists.  Senior libero Gabi Eustache (New York, N.Y.) finished with a match high 13 digs.

            Southern Maine is back in action on Thursday evening (7 p.m.) hosting Saint Joseph's College (Me.).  Bates opens conference play on Friday (7 p.m.) hosting NESCAC rival Amherst College.