The season has just begun for the men's club volleyball team, and prospects are looking bright. The Polar Bears began practicing in early November, and participated in their first preseason tournament, the Marty Open, on January 29 in Fairfield, Conn.

Bowdoin proved to be a formidable opponent at the open, facing teams from the University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University, the University of Hartford, and Stonehill College. The team went 6-2 in pool play, landing a spot in the playoffs.

Although it lost a close match to Boston University in the first round, 22-25 and 17-25, Bowdoin "gave [them] a run for their money," said captain Peyton Kelley '13. Boston University went on to win the entire tournament. Rhode Island, who was responsible for the other Bowdoin loss, placed second in the tournament.

Captain Tom Delehanty '12 commented that it was one of the team's "best performances" and that they were "definitely one of the best teams in the pool." The team participates in the two-division New England Collegiate Volleyball League, and was the only Division II team to make the playoffs in Fairfield.

The tournament was a good way to measure the team's talent and see how it stacks up against larger teams outside of the league, according to Kelley.

Bowdoin commenced its regular season this year at Colby last weekend, facing local teams from the University of Maine-Orono, the University of New England, and Bates.

Delehanty said that, against UMaine-Orono and New England, "We won matches pretty easily," but that Bowdoin found a tougher opponent in the Bobcats.

Kelley said that "We struggled in the first set, but we came back strong and tied it 1-1," in the best-of-three-set match. "We began trading points and it became very intense."

Each team had at least three match points in the final set.

Using its players' experience to its advantage, Bowdoin squeaked out a 22-20 victory, ending the day with three victories and an undefeated record within its division.

"We wanted to go 3-0 and we did," said Kelley.

"We didn't play as well as we did in the Marty Open," noted Delehanty, where the team faced "more experienced" teams. "I realized that teams often play up or down to different levels of play. There is a different level of energy."

Delehanty said that as for future development, the two captains are working to "keep up the level of intensity" regardless of who the team is playing. "It's a big goal of ours this season," he added.

Still, the team has shown a lot of improvement from last season, according to Delehanty. The starting six, who are all returning team members, make for a "very experienced team, talent-wise and personnel-wise."

"We are very aware of our strengths and weaknesses—the little details," added Kelley.

First on the list of things to improve is serving, Kelley said.

The team encourages anyone to come to open gym practices, regardless of experience.

Bowdoin will be playing next at UMass-Lowell in a divisional matchup on February 19. It will face the teams of UMass-Lowell, Vermont, Middlebury, and Colby.