Naughton leads volleyball in setback to undefeated Bowdoin

Claire Naughton had 10 kills and only one attack error in Bates' 3-0 loss to Bowdoin on Sept. 15, 2018. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Danielle Abrams had a match-high 12 kills with only one attack error and Kate Kiser totaled 37 assists and four kills as Bowdoin remained undefeated on the season with a 3-0 (25-21-, 25-20, 25-16) NESCAC victory over the host Bates volleyball team Saturday afternoon.

Bates led by as much as 11-8 in the first set, and the score was tied at 19-19 before the Polar Bears went on a 6-2 run to earn the first game. Sydney Salle's kill gave Bowdoin a 23-20 lead, and Kiser won Bowdoin's 23rd final two points with kills from her setter position.

In the second set, Bowdoin pulled away from a 5-5 tie, using consecutive aces by Sophia Pahl and kills by Caroline Flaharty and Abrams to forge a 10-6 lead. Bates could get no closer than within two for the rest of the set. Bates scored three straight to close a 24-17 deficit to 24-20, thanks to a Bowdoin service error, a kill by junior setter Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) and a block by junior Samantha Schecter (Riverside, Conn.) and sophomore Angel Echipue (Munich, Germany) on Ashley Williams. But Abrams ended the brief run and gave Bowdoin a 2-0 lead with her kill.

The third set was another close one to its midway point; Bates trailed 13-12 after an Echipue kill, but Bowdoin put together a 5-1 run to make it 18-13, beginning with a kill and a solo block by Sydney Salle and ending with consecutive Bates errors, prompting a timeout. A pair of kills by Flaharty and another by Abrams gave the Polar Bears a commanding 21-14 lead. Williams and Abrams kills finished off the set and the match.

Flaharty taliled nine kills and Salle and Williams added seven apiece for the Polar Bears, who attacked at a .344 percentage for the match. Pahl added six kills and a team-high 10 digs.

Bates senior Claire Naughton (Darien, Conn.) played an outstanding match, with 10 kills and one error on 14 attempts (.643). Echipue and sophomore Ruby Lightbourn (Los Angeles, Calif.) had seven kills apiece, with Echipue hitting at a .357 percentage. Lightbourn led Bates in digs with 10.

Panepinto totaled 29 assists, three kills and five digs for Bates.

Bates next hosts Colby on Friday at 7pm in the third match of the Bobcats' six-match homestand.