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Volleyball team sweeps Colby in home opener





LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College volleyball team dominated the first set and kept the momentum going in a 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-15) non-conference victory over Colby College Wednesday night at Alumni Gymnasium, handing the rival Mules their first loss of the season.

Bates (2-3) scored the first four points of the first set, then built leads of 7-1 and 18-7 en route to a decisive set win and a 1-0 lead.

Colby (3-1) came out stronger in the first set, but some errors and miscommunications kept the score close. Bates took a 11-7 lead and caused Colby timeouts at 14-8 and 20-13. The Mules found some momentum following the latter timeout, but it was squashed by back-to-back kills by sophomore middle blocker Eliza Pyne (Atherton, Calif.). Pyne ended the set with another kill.

The teams were tied at 4-4 to start the third set, but a Bates run made it 8-4. The Bobcats scored their 10th point thanks to a great diving save by first-year setter Jennifer Youngpeter (Mobile, Ala.), which prompted the loudest applause of the night from teammates and spectators.

Bates sophomore Nicole Russell (Boca Raton, Fla.) led the team in kills with nine and in digs with 14, while senior Rachel Colby (Willimantic, Conn.) contributed eight kills, eight digs, two aces and two blocks. Junior Grace Haessler (Portland, Ore.) handed out 19 assists to go with seven kills, and Youngpeter added five assists and seven digs.

Colby sophomore Emily Varni (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) led the Mules in kills with six, while first-year Lily Kramlich-Taylor had five and senior Heather Arvidson (Andover, Mass.) added four. Sophomore Maggie Taylor (Cabin John, Md.) led the team in digs with 17, while junior Caitlin Burchill (Walpole, Mass.) added seven. Colby didn't register a block in the match.

Bates' next match is at Colby but against Tufts, Friday at 7 p.m. in the NESCAC opener for both teams. Colby hosts Bowdoin Friday at 6 p.m. in their conference opener.

BATES STATS: Bates 3, Colby 0