LEWISTON, Maine – Amherst and Bates each entered their 2019 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opener without a blemish on their record, and the teams went the distance on Friday night at Alumni Gym, with the Mammoths earning a 3-2 (25-21, 25-15, 21-25, 20-25, 15-8) victory to improve to 7-0.
The Mammoths took the first two sets and led 16-10 in the third but saw the Bobcats (8-1) storm back to tie the match at two games apiece. In the decisive final set, the visitors jumped out to a 7-2 advantage on their way to a 15-8 victory.
Dailey had a double-double with 11 digs and also added five of Amherst's 18 block assists.
Senior Cameron Hendricks had two kills in the opening five points of the fifth set, wrapped around a point by Launsbach, as the Mammoths opened up a 5-1 lead.
Hendricks ended the night with four kills and no attacking errors, as well as a solo block and two block assists. Launsbach had a solo and four assists, as did Alex Rone '22, who added four kills and a .571 hitting percentage.
The Amherst offense ran through Charlotte Duran '20, who posted a double-double with 42 assists and 14 of Amherst's 124 digs. Defensively, Skyleur Savage '22 led the way with 30 digs. Sierra Cox '22 had 17 digs and three service aces, while Candace Chung '20 had 22 digs.
Gabi Eustache of the Bobcats led all players with 34 digs, along with seven assists. Olivia McCulloch had a team-high 12 kills and 31 digs, while Julia Panepinto (24 assists, 12 digs) and Emma Eide (19 assists, 11 digs) split setting duties for Bates.
After spending the night in Maine, Amherst will look for an opening conference weekend sweep when they play Colby at 11:00 AM tomorrow.
Bates hosts Middlebury at 2:00 PM tomorrow.