Women's tennis team secures nationals bid
Although March Madness is now a distant dream in the minds of most sports fans, the Bowdoin women will enter a bracket of their own tomorrow when they play against Vassar College in the first round of the national championship tournament. A victory would bring Bowdoin face to face with NESCAC rival Amherst College, and a victory against the host Lord Jeffs would mean a trip to the Division III Final Eight in sunny Southern California.
The Polar Bears have been on a tear the past few weeks, and with the exception of a tough loss to Williams on April 12, Bowdoin's women have been in great spirits. After decisive victories against Smith College and Trinity College, the Polar Bears posted a respectable fourth place finish at the NESCAC championships two weeks ago. Bowdoin took out perennial nemesis Middlebury College 7-2 on Tuesday and ended the regular season with a lofty 13-6 record.
Led by senior co-captains Arlyn Davich and Jenna Goldman, the Polar Bears have more than exceeded expectations this season. "These women have worked so hard this spring," said Coach Jane Paterson. "I am so proud of what they have accomplished."
With the regular season behind them, the Bowdoin women now have their sights set on the upcoming weekend. They will play their first match against Vassar on Saturday, and the winner of that match will take on Amherst later in the day. Amherst is the highest seeded team of the three and thus has the luxury of a first-round bye. The team that emerges on top will travel to the University of Redlands in California for a chance to play for the Division III national championship.
The Polar Bears have yet to play Vassar or Amherst this season. The Bowdoin women do not regularly compete against Vassar, and the last time they saw Amherst was back in the fall, when Amherst got the best of Bowdoin 7-2.
"I think we have really hit our stride right now," said Paterson, who wants her team to keep California in the back of its minds and focus on Vassar. "If we play at the level we have played all season, I think we have a good shot of beating any team that comes our way."
GO U BEARS!