Matsuoka '21 takes over NESCAC digs lead in volleyball loss

Nikki Matsuoka '21 (Josh McKee photo)
Nikki Matsuoka '21 (Josh McKee photo)

Bates College posted a .304 hitting percentage and the Bobcats defeated the Hamilton College Continentals in three sets in a NESCAC match played at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Friday night.

The set scores were 25-21, 25-15 and 25-11. The Continentals will honor Claire Kitz '19 and Meghan Wilkinson '19 as part of a Senior Day ceremony prior to their home match with conference foe Colby College on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.

Hamilton (4-8, 0-6 NESCAC) was led by Jane Fanning '22 and her seven kills. Emma Parkhurst '21 passed out 16 assists and Maddy LaPoint '22 served a pair of aces. Nikki Matsuoka '21, who tops the conference with 5.33 digs per set, led the defensive effort with 20. Kayla Self '21 chipped in 10 and Parkhurst and Wilkinson added eight apiece.

Bates (7-4, 2-3) was led by Taylor Stafford-Smith's 17 kills and 10 digs. Claire Naughton registered 10 kills and Angel Echipue contributed nine kills and two blocks. Gabi Eustache had a team-high 16 digs and served two aces, and Lauren Brough boasted 11 digs and two aces. Julia Panepinto handed out 39 assists.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first set. The Continentals held a 20-19 edge after a solo block by Dorothy Poucher '21, but the Bobcats ended the set with a 6-1 run thanks to four kills and an ace.

Hamilton held a 10-9 advantage in the second set after a Parkhurst kill. Bates ran off the next three points and led the rest of the way. The Bobcats jumped out to a 6-1 cushion in the third set and didn't let the Continentals get closer than four points after that.