Polar Bears spoil women's volleyball's home opener

Gabi Eustache (1) and Lauren Brough (14) keep the ball in play in Bates' loss to Bowdoin on Sept. 21, 2016. (Josh Kuckens/Bates College) 

LEWISTON, Maine --  The Bates women's volleyball team dropped their home opener to Bowdoin Wednesday night in a non-conference match by a score of 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-12).

The Bobcats (2-6) got off to a slow start with Bowdoin (5-3) opening the first set with three straight kills followed by an ace to take a 4-0 lead. 

But Bates got on the board thanks to a kill by sophomore Reilly Murphy (Marshfield, Mass.). Murphy recorded a block on the very next rally to cut the deficit to 4-2. 

But Bowdoin went on a 7-3 run to open up an 11-5 lead, forcing the Bobcats to call a timeout. 

The Polar Bears came out strong out of the timeout and Bates found themselves down 14-5 before a kill by junior Lisa Slivken (New York, N.Y.) off an assist from junior Jacqueline Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) got Bates back on the right track. The Bobcats went on a quick 3-0 run to cut the lead to 14-8.

The Polar Bears responded with a quick 3-0 run of their own, helped by two Khelsea Gordon kills, to extend the lead to 17-8, forcing Bates to call their second timeout. 

A Bowdoin kill followed by a Bates attack error and a bad set extended the Bowdoin lead to 20-8 out of the timeout before Slivken tallied another kill of her own.  

Trailing 21-9, Bates got in double digits thanks to a Bowdoin attack error. Junior Augy Silver's (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) ace cut the deficit to 21-11.

Up 24-13, Bowdoin secured the first set win on a kill by Michelle Albright. The big difference in set one was in the kill category, as Bowdoin finished with 15 while Bates tallied five. The Bobcats also committed eight attack errors. 

The Bobcats got off to a 1-0 lead in the second set thanks to a block by Murphy and senior Chandler McGrath (Seal Beach, Calif.).

Down 4-2 in set two, Bates cut the deficit to one after an extended rally thanks to a kill by senior Nicole Peraica (East Northport, N.Y.) on an assist from senior Hannah Tardie (Orange, Calif.). But the Polar Bears went on a quick 3-0 run before sophomore Claire Naughton (Darien, Conn.) notched a kill to trim the deficit to 7-4.

The teams traded points for a couple of rallies and a kill by Peraica on another assist from Tardie made the score 9-7 in favor of the Polar Bears. Bates got another point on a McGrath kill to cut the deficit to one. Then McGrath tallied a second straight kill to even the score at nine.

Bowdoin tallied two quick points before Murphy tallied a kill to make the score 11-10 in favor of the Polar Bears. 

Bowdoin proceeded to go on a 5-1 run to extend their lead to 16-11, forcing Bates to burn a timeout. 

The Polar Bears were just as strong out of the timeout, scoring four straight points to make the score 20-11, capped off by an Erika Sklaver kill. The Bobcats proceeded to call a second timeout to try and get a rally started.

This time the timeout worked initially as Peraica tallied a kill on an assist from Tardie to cut the deficit to 20-12. 

After Bowdoin went on a 3-0 run, Bates responded with a nice kill by Naughton and a block by Slivken and Naughton. 

But Sklaver and the Polar Bears were too much to handle as they scored the final two points of the set to take it 25-14. 

After two sets, Peraica led the Bobcats with four kills while Sklaver led all players with eight.

In the third set, Bates jumped out to the early lead thanks to a Naughton kill on an assist from Forney. Bates grabbed a 3-2 edge on a Bowdoin attack error. The Polar Bears scored a pair of points to briefly take a 4-3 lead before a Naughton kill tied the set at four.

A 5-2 run for the Polar Bears gave them a 9-6 lead but first-year Jordan Camarillo (Tucson, Ariz.) recorded an ace to cut the deficit to two.

That's as close as the Bobcats got in the third set. The Polar Bears went on a 4-0 run and Bates called timeout down 13-7.

After the timeout, Bates scored three of the next five points to cut the Bowdoin lead to 15-10. 

A Slivken kill made the score 15-11 and McGrath tallied a kill of her own to cut the deficit to 15-12. 

Bowdoin scored three straight points to get their lead up to seven at 19-12 and Bates called timeout. 

Out of the timeout, the Polar Bears scored six points in a row to end the match, highlighted by back-to-back service aces by Katie Doherty and capped off by a Khelsea Gordon kill.

Michelle Albright tallied 10 kills for Bowdoin to lead all players while Naughton and Peraica each recorded five kills for the Bobcats. Quincy Leech tallied a match-high 34 assists for the Polar Bears.

Bates returns to NESCAC play Friday when they visit Colby for a 7:00 p.m. match against the Mules.