2017 Little East Offensive Player of the Year (Jess Williamson)

Bates Downs Southern Maine 3-0

Sophomore Kacey Foerster had seven kills against Bates (file photo by Jason Johns).
Sophomore Kacey Foerster had seven kills against Bates (file photo by Jason Johns).

Bates Downs Southern Maine 3-0

            GORHAM, Maine -- The visiting Bates College Bobcats rallied from an eight-point deficit in the first set and went on to defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-18) in non-conference women's volleyball action Tuesday evening at the Warren Hill Gymnasium.

            The win improves the Bobcats overall record to 3-1.  The Huskies slipped to 3-4 on the season.

            Trailing 19-11, the Bobcats rallied behind the strong net play of sophomore Ruby Lightbourn (Los Angeles, Calif.) who had four kills in a 15-5 run to overcome the deficit and take the first set.  Tied 15-15, Bates surged ahead with a 10-4 run to win the second set to go up 2-0.  The third set proved to be a replay of the second as the Bobcats again came from behind in the latter stages.

            Junior Taylor Stafford-Smith (Calabasas, Calif.) combined with Lightbourn for 24 kills.  Stafford-Smith knocked down 13 kills and compiled a .435 attack percentage while Lightbourn had 11 kills and a .292 attack percentage.  Lightbourn also had three service aces.

            Junior setter Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) dished out 29 assists and three service aces on the evening.  Junior libero Gabi Eustache (New York, N.Y.) led all players with 13 digs.

            For the Huskies, sophomore Kacey Foerster (Scarborough, Maine) had seven kills, and rookie Alexis Dow (Miami, Fla./Saint Brendan) and junior Kylee Austin (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) combined for 12 kills (six apiece) at the middle hitter spot.  Austin also had four blocks, and Dow had three.

            Senior Nicole Schmitz (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) had 18 assists, and sophomore Kristina Odom (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) posted eight digs.

            Southern Maine visits local rival St. Joseph's College for a non-conference match on Thursday (6 p.m.).  Bates hosts Tufts University on Friday (7 p.m.) to open its NESCAC schedule.