With a 4-0 sweep of the Endicott Invitational last weekend and a victory over the University of New England (UNE)at home on Tuesday, the volleyball team shows no signs of slowing down.
In the weekend’s final match, Bowdoin defeated the UMass Boston Beacons 3-1, avenging the team’s loss last year in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
In the wake of this string of victories, the team will enter conference play with an undefeated 5-0 record, and ranked 25th nationally in D-III by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
The action began last Friday against Gallaudet University with a 3-1 Polar Bear victory. Bowdoin picked up its first set of the season 25-17, before faltering in the second and losing 21-25. The team rebounded quickly and took a pair of sets 25-20 and 25-15 to seal the first win of the year.
Christy Jewett ’16 had an impressive collegiate debut against Gallaudet, racking up 12 kills, while captain Melissa Haskell ’13 notched 12 kills and 16 digs. Setter Sophia Cornew ’14 finished with 33 assists.
Later that evening, the team trounced Plymouth State 3-0. Though the Panthers put up a valiant effort in the first set, only falling to Bowdoin 25-22, the Polar Bears upped the pressure in the next two sets, overwhelming their opponents 25-18 and 25-8 for the win.
Last Saturday’s play began with a match against Endicott, where the Polar Bears prevailed against their host 3-1. Though the team stumbled in the second set, they won the final two with comfortable margins, with final set scores of 25-21, 21-25, 25-14, and 25-15.
Against Endicott, libero Taylor Vail ’14 led the team defensively with 25 digs, while Haskell achieved a tremendous 18 kills offensively. Jewett continued her impressive first weekend with 10 kills.
The second match on Saturday pitted the Polar Bears against the UMass Boston Beacons. After four hard-fought sets, Bowdoin bested UMass 3-1 with set scores of 25-15, 20-25, 25-16, and 25-19.
Hilary Cederna ’13 had a particularly noteworthy game. The senior racked up 18 kills and 18 digs, with just three errors in the entire match. Cornew had 45 assists during the match, fueling the team’s offensive effort. Her impressive performance over the course of the tournament earned Cornew a spot as the NESCAC Volleyball Player of the Week.
Cornew expressed her happiness at the team’s victory.
“I was thrilled when we beat UMass Amherst. We had been waiting nine months for this game and it’s really nice to finally get some revenge for NCAAs,” she said. “It was a tough match, they are a great team, but it came down to the fact that we wanted it more and fought harder.”
At home last Tuesday, the team easily beat U.N.E. 3-0, with match scores of 25-19, 25-13, 25-21.
Leading the team’s offensively in the match against U.N.E. were both right-side hitter Ellie Brennan ’14 and Jewett, who each made eight kills.
The team begins NESCAC play with a pair of matches this weekend at home in Morrell Gym starting with a face-off against Amherst at 8 p.m. tonight.