The volleyball team's historic season ended in a fiercely fought 3-2 loss to UMass-Boston in the second round of the NCAA D-III Tournament last Saturday.

The team finished its record-breaking season with a record of 27-3—the most wins in program history—and its first perfect 10-0 record in the NESCAC. To top off this impressive run, 2011 saw the Polar Bears winning their first ever NESCAC Championship, their first D-III entry, and their first D-III Tournament match.

The team began its first NCAA outing last Friday by besting Baruch College in a 3-1 decision, 25-19, 25-14, 25-27, and 25-16.

Bowdoin got off to a strong start in the first set, establishing an early 6-3 lead before Baruch came back and tied it at 11. The Polar Bears then scored five consecutive points, eventually extending their lead to seven before finally ending the game with a 25-19 victory.

Bowdoin took command of the second set, creating a 12-6 early lead before easily winning 25-14. Baruch rallied in the third set, however, fending off match point before taking the last three points for 27-25 win. Everything was tied up 8-8 in the fourth before captain Kristin Hanczor '12 and Tory Edelman '13 fueled a 9-1 run that secured the set and clinched the first NCAA win in program history.

Edelman was instrumental in the Polar Bear effort, earning 12 kills and five blocks. Ellie Brennan '14 made equal contributions to the offense and defense, with 10 kills and 10 digs. Hanczor, as always, was a dominant presence on court with nine blocks—including the winning hit—in addition to five kills. Setter Sophia Cornew '14 made 32 assists and 16 digs.

The Polar Bears finally fell in Saturday's match to UMass-Boston in five sets, with scores of 23-25, 25-15, 17-25, 25-18, and 15-7.

This match was the second time that the two nationally-ranked squads had met during the season, having previously faced off in September at the Endicott Invitational. UMass beat Bowdoin 3-1 in that match, the first of Bowdoin's two regular season losses.

Last Saturday, Bowdoin led 2-1 after the first three sets, but UMass rallied to take the fourth and accumulated an insurmountable lead early in the fifth to clinch the match with a 15-7 win.

Melissa Haskell '13 lead the team with 13 kills and 12 digs while Brennan racked up 12 kills. Hanczor amassed nine kills and three blocks. Cornew had 19 digs and 43 assists and Taylor Vail '14 led the defensive effort with 25 digs. Haskell was named to the All-Tournament team.

"I'm very proud of all the girls on our team," Haskell said. "Though we weren't able to pull out the win, I think we did a lot of great things out on the court and played some good Bowdoin volleyball. We weren't really accustomed to UMass-Boston's style of play, but we still made a good showing, proving that we are a tough team."

Hanczor ends her Bowdoin career as the program's all-time leader for blocks with 401 and second overall in kills, with 1,119. Additionally, Cornew set a new school record for assists in a season, and now sits third in the record books for total career assists.

In a fitting end to this legendary run, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Tuesday that Hanczor was named Second-Team All-American, the first player in Bowdoin volleyball history to earn that honor.