In an impressive showing last weekend, the volleyball team secured four victories and achieved several program milestones. The weekend leaves Bowdoin 20-2 overall for the season and 7-1 in the NESCAC. 

The wins pushed the 25th-ranked Polar Bears over the 20 win mark for the second consecutive year, the first time the program has enjoyed such successful back-to-back seasons in over 20 years. The three seniors on the squad also achieved a milestone with last Saturday’s pair of wins, giving them 82 career victories at Bowdoin and making the Class of 2013 the most successful in Bowdoin history. 

The action began last weekend with an easy 3-0 win against Colby-Sawyer, 25-16, 25-13, 25-14.  Melissa Haskell ’13 led the way with nine kills, while NESCAC rookie-of-the-year contender Christy Jewett ’16 was not far behind with eight kills. The senior class performed strongly to kick off its last regular season home stand with Hilary Cederna ’13 notching seven kills and eight digs and Tory Edelman ’13 earning seven of the team’s 18 block assists. 

After the early victory Bowdoin faced a much more challenging opponent in the Coast Guard Academy. Though the Polar Bears managed to come away with a 3-1 win, they had to stave off a fierce comeback effort from the Coast Guard. Bowdoin took the first set 25-15 with relative ease but faced stiffer resistance in the second set, winning by a slimmer margin of 25-21. Coast Guard was relentless in the closely contested third set, picking up the win 27-25. The fourth proved equally dramatic, as Bowdoin won 25-23. 

Jewett led the team in kills with 12, while Haskell racked up 10 kills and two aces. Setter Sophia Cornew ’14 contributed 39 assists. Cederna led the team defensively with 26 digs. 

On Saturday morning, the team celebrated Senior Day and began  with a conference match against Hamilton. The Polar Bears defeated the Continentals 3-0 with relative ease, tallying set scores of 25-23, 25-17 and 25-21.

Against Hamilton, Jewett led the team offensively with seven kills and three service aces while Ellie Brennan ’14 also contributed seven kills. Haskell notched 17 digs and Cornew came out with 27 assists. 

Later in the day, the team swept aside highly regarded regional rival Wellesley, shutting them out 3-0 with set scores of 25-20, 25-20 and 25-18. 

Haskell had 17 kills in the win over Wellesley, and her fellow seniors made important contributions with Cederna and Edelman making nine and eight kills respectively. Libero Taylor Vail ’14 had 17 digs and Cederna and McKenzie Kessel ’16 led the team in service aces with two each. 

“I was really proud of the way our team played  against Wellesley, because although we have been playing really well lately, that was the first time where everyone was on their A-game and really clicking,” said Vail. “I think if we continue playing like that we are going to be in a really good place for our challenging matches this weekend and beyond.” 

This weekend promises two important matchups for the team, with both its national and conference rankings on the line at Mount Holyoke College for the Hall of Fame Tournament. 

Bowdoin will face off against the Jumbos today at 7 p.m. in a must-win match for the team if it hopes to secure its top ranking and host the championship for the second consecutive year. Alongside Williams, Tufts has the only other team in the NESCAC, with the same 7-1 conference record, making the outcome of tonight’s match crucially important in deciding the tournament host. 

On Saturday, Bowdoin will come up against MIT, the highest ranked non-conference opponent left this season, which should provide a challenging match for the Polar Bears at 11 a.m. 

The Polar Bears will finish up the weekend with a 3 p.m. match against Wheaton College.