With her final kill in Morrell Gymnasium last Sunday, captain Kristin Hanczor '12 not only sealed Bowdoin's first NESCAC volleyball championship but also cemented her place in team history.

The team's remarkable 3-0 victory over defending champion Middlebury in the championship match on Sunday was due in no small part to Hanczor's leadership, as she earned 12 kills in the course of play, spearheading the attack.

Her strong play helped carry the team through the weekend, as she collected 13 kills and six blocks in the team's 3-1 win against Trinity in the semifinals, and six kills in the opening round against Colby. With Hanczor at the helm, Bowdoin lost just one of 10 sets over the weekend.

A dominant presence on the court, the middle hitter played a central role in the team's historic 26-2 season, earning 303 kills with a hitting percentage of .350 and 98 blocks. She currently sits second in program history with 1,105 career kills and first with 389 blocks.

Additionally, Hanczor was named NESCAC Co-Player of the Year this week—the first time a Bowdoin player has won the award—garnering a First Team All-NESCAC selection to add on to a Second Team accolade last year. She leads the league in hitting percentage, ranks second in blocks per set, and is eighth in kills per set.

Yet Hanczor's path to being a league leader was hardly conventional.

"Kristin might have been more of a basketball player than a volleyball player in high school, said Director of Athletics Jeff Ward. "She's a really good athlete."

With this base talent, Hanczor has grown to be a true marvel on the court, balancing the abilities to daintily manipulate the ball and to strike back with fierce power. This dexterity leaves opponents dumbfounded, unsure of how she will score on them next.

Coupled with an innate resilience in the face of adversity, she has been a major asset to the program: a four-year starter and two-year captain.

"When you're captain, you have to check your pride at the door, and not everyone can do that," said Head Coach Karen Corey.

Though Hanczor continued her athletic growth her sophomore year, the turning point for the whole program came at the end of her junior season, with a humiliating first-round loss to Middlebury.

"We were so bummed after earning the No. 3 seed and losing in the first round," she said. "We realized we were good, but we needed that edge to put is over the top. Since that day, we've made NESCACs our number one priority, with every girl completely dedicating herself to the team 110 percent, which is absolutely huge."

This rallying point drove the team onwards all season, motivating the players and giving strength as it went on to the first undefeated conference record in program history.

Eager to share the limelight, Hanczor fondly reflected on fellow seniors Gina Lonati and Jillian Berkman, noting the bond between them that stems from all the successes and heartbreaks they have been through together.

"One of our greatest legacies as a class is the fact that the team has been undefeated at home since 2007," she said. "I can only hope that future teams will continue to sustain this legacy."

Even with all of her career achievements, Hanczor said that the final point in the title game against Middlebury will stand out above all else in her mind.

"That final point was literally a dream," she said. "I saw the ball coming over the net and I made eye contact with Sophia [Cornew '14] and I just knew that it would all be over, right then and there."

"I'll never forget that feeling of finally achieving everything that we've worked so hard for," she added. "That feeling of pride in myself and in my team will stay with me for the rest of my life."