Captain Kristin Hanczor '12 was the focal point of the volleyball team's front line this weekend. Pacing the Polar Bears with dominating offensive and defensive consistency, Hanczor led Bowdoin to a second-place finish at the New England Women's Volleyball Association Hall of Fame Tournament this past weekend at Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges. For her performance, Hanczor was named to the all-tournament team and was also named NESCAC Player of the Week.
The Polar Bears played their first game against Springfield College, a team ranked second in the New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA), and captured a thrilling five-set victory. After splitting the first four sets, Bowdoin went point for point with the Pride in the fifth and final set and squeaked out an 18-16 win. Hanczor, who dominated the net as Bowdoin's middle blocker, finished with four blocks and 13 kills (and just three errors), called the decisive set "one of the most exciting games we have played all season."
In Saturday's semifinal match, Bowdoin won another game against one of the region's best teams, beating No. 3 Amherst three sets to one. Hanczor again made her presence felt, crushing 13 kills against only two errors. The Polar Bears lost in the finals to Middlebury, but their second-place finish was the best in school history. Bowdoin finished the tournament with a 16-9 record, and their 7-3 record in the NESCAC is another school record.
Given what coaches and teammates say about her, it is no surprise that Hanczor excels on the volleyball court.
Coach Karen Corey calls her junior captain "tenacious" and admires Hanczor's consistency. During the Hall of Fame tournament, Corey said, "[Kristin was] constantly involved, constantly pressuring opponents, and constantly driving to win."
Fellow captain Anna Noucas '11 marveled at Hanczor's tenacity off the court and natural ability as a leader.
"Besides her obvious talents as a volleyball player," Noucas said, "the thing that impresses me the most about Kristin is her unbelievable work ethic. Nobody works harder than her, and I'm proud to be her teammate."
When Hanczor discusses volleyball, her prowess as a captain becomes immediately apparent. She's quick to credit teammates and coaches for any individual success.
"The hard-working attitude of each of [my teammates] inspires me to play my best," Hanczor said, "and I could not have asked for a better group of girls to train and play with."
Bowdoin's middle hitter hopes to motivate her teammates on and off the court, but also to earn their respect. With the NESCAC Tournament set to begin November 5, Hanczor is excited about the Polar Bears' chances.
Hanczor added, "I am extremely confident that if we play together with the fire and determination that we can bring, Bowdoin volleyball will continue to make history next weekend."