LEWISTON, Maine – Bella Ahearn totaled 14 kills to help lead the 25th-ranked Wesleyan volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Bates on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals won by scores of 25-22, 27-25, 21-25, and 25-19.
"Our matches with Bates are always intense because both teams play good defense and the rallies are long," said Head Coach Ben Somera. "Today was a really good win because we never stopped fighting. Even when we got down big in the third set, we continued to play hard and chip away at their lead. That was important because even if you don't complete the comeback, you head into the next set playing well."
With the win, the Cardinals improved the 12-2 overall and 4-1 in the NESCAC. With the loss, the Bobcats are now 10-5 and 2-3.
- The first set went back-and-forth often. Tied at 19-19, four-straight points by Wesleyan put the visitors ahead 23-19. Stasie Litinsky later sealed the victory with a kill.
- The Cardinals jumped out to a 4-1 lead to start the second and led the majority of the way, until Bates took a 22-21 lead late. Shortly after, with the set tied at 25-25, a service error by the Bobcats followed by an attack error from the home team gave Wesleyan a 2-0 advantage in the match.
- The visitors scored the first point of the third but an 8-2 run by Bates put the home team on top, and it never looked back.
- The fourth set featured more thrilling, back-and-forth action, with the Bobcats getting within one late, 18-17. However, Wesleyan scored seven of the next nine points as a kill by Olivia Guidotti sealed the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Ahearn totaled 14 kills and just one error for a .382 hitting percentage. Gabby Bennett and Litinsky each totaled seven kills, and Grace Rose led the team with 23 assists while Kaira Muraoka-Robertson totaled 18 including 15 digs. Phia Bellizzi led the defense with an incredible 38 digs, Harper Graves added 23, and Guidotti totaled 12. Bennett and Graves also totaled five blocks each.
- Olivia McCulloch and Delaney Mayfield led Bates with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Julia Panepinto totaled 28 assists and 18 digs, and Emma Eide registered 18 assists and 18 digs. Taylor Stafford-Smith led the team with 21 digs while Gabi Eustache totaled 16 and Ruby Lightbourn had 14. Angel Echipue led the way with four blocks.
- Wesleyan is back in action on Thursday, Oct. 10 and will play at Keene State scheduled for 7 p.m.