The volleyball team continued its torrid start, sweeping Bates and Colby in their opening weekend of NESCAC play to improve to an impressive 5-0.
On Friday, Sept. 17, the Bates volleyball team was greeted by a packed LeFrak gymnasium, eager to support the Firedogs as they looked to build on an undefeated start. From the opening serve, Amherst was in clear control, quickly jumping out to a 21-11 lead in the first set. Led by stellar play from hitter and captain Jamie Dailey ’22E, the Firedogs took the first set 25-15, the second set 25-20 and then sent the Bobcats packing with another 25-15 final set.
Dailey led the squad in kills (12), digs (9), blocks (2) and aces (2). Setter Carly Cooper ’24 racked up the most assists (17), while Sophie Launsbach ’22 and Anaya Thomas ’25 lit up the scorecard with 8 and 6 kills, respectively.
The Mammoth faithful in the gymnasium described the game as a thrilling experience. “The atmosphere in LeFrak was electric,” said Jack Trent ’23, who was watching from the stands. For Tylon Crump Jr. ’23, another supporter of the Firedogs, the crowd was just mimicking the team’s energy. “The crowd fed off the energy our team brought into the gym. When they’re playing like that it’s easy to be excited,” Crump Jr. commented.
Saturday’s match against Colby was yet another display of dominance. The Firedogs outscored the Mules by a margin of 75 to 38 in a 3-0 sweep, winning 25-13, 25-16 and 25-9.
Like a monkey shot out of a cannon, the Firedogs went on a run of nine consecutive points in the first set and jumped out to an early 13-3 lead. Though the two sides traded points down the stretch like an old married couple bickering about where to have dinner, the Firedogs prevailed with a Dailey kill to seal the first set.
The second set started like Hitchcock's common room on a Saturday night — close and moderately uncomfortable. Like Usain Bolt in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, however, the Firedogs sprinted past their competition. Sparked by a Thomas kill and a Lizzie Papalia ’25 service ace, the Firedogs rattled off an 11-5 run to put even more pressure on the already dejected Mules.
The final set began in a similar fashion to the second, though unlike Marlin in Pixar’s magnum opus “Finding Nemo,” the Firedogs were in familiar waters. With the score 11-7, Amherst turned on the burners like Apolo Ohno coming down the home stretch, registering nine straight points before going on another six point unanswered run to close out the final set and finally put an end to this slaughter of the mules.
The Firedogs posted an impressive .336 attack percentage for the match. Dailey once again led all players in kills with 17, and Cooper and Papalia were credited with game-high tallies in assists and digs, with 33 and 11 respectively.
“Being undefeated has been a product of our hard work during preseason but to continue our hot streak we need to continue to practice hard and work on the fundamentals,” Launsbach said.
The Firedogs look to continue their unbeaten start as they travel to Vermont this Friday, Sept. 24 to take on NESCAC rival Middlebury and out-of-conference opponent Brandeis.