Volleyball comes to play in loss to Amherst, still clinches playoff spot

Claire Naughton had nine kills and three blocks in Bates' 3-0 loss to Amherst on Oct. 26, 2018. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates volleyball team played one of its better matches this season Friday night, but it wasn't enough to avoid falling 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-22) to Emily Kolsky and Amherst College.

In a match filled with rallies and great defensive play, too often for Bates it was Kolsky who ended the drama in Amherst's favor. The junior pounded 18 kills with one attack error on 44 attempts (.386), and added a team-high 17 digs to lead the Mammoths (19-4, 7-2 NESCAC) to their fourth straight victory.

Claire Naughton and Taylor Stafford-Smith had nine kills apiece for Bates (13-8, 3-6 NESCAC), while Angel Echipue added seven kills and four blocks. Delaney Mayfield and Ruby Lightbourn had six kills apiece, and Sydney Phillips tallied four kills in the third set.

Julia Panepinto totaled 37 assists with eight digs in the losing effort. Megan Seabury, Gabi Eustache and Stafford-Smith all were in double figures in digs, with 24, 21, and 12, respectively.

The Bobcats had a chance to clinch a berth in next weekend's NESCAC playoffs with a win, but they clinched it anyway with the loss, thanks to Connecticut College's loss at Tufts. The Bobcats host Trinity College (13-8, 2-7) at 2pm on Saturday and will claim the seventh seed in the playoffs with a victory.

Jamie Dailey added 14 kills for Amherst with three errors on 35 attempts (.314). Charlotte Duran delivered 41 assists and Skyleur Savage and Daria Kim-Percy contributed 12 digs apiece.

Amherst finishes its regular season at Colby on Saturday at 1pm. The Mammoths have secured no worse than the third seed in the NESCAC playoffs.