On October 1, the Bowdoin women’s volleyball team (8–5; 3–4 NESCAC) scored a 3–1 win against Williams College (10–5; 3–4 NESCAC). The match ended with set scores of 25–16, 24–26, 26–24 and 25–18 in favor of the Polar Bears following a collaborative sequence of game moves.
Players attribute the win to an open mindset and a well-executed game plan.
“There are a lot of upsets happening in the NESCAC. We’ve had some wins [and] some losses that [were] not predicted,” outside hitter Skye LaMendola ’27 said. “So we just wanted to go into Williams with a mindset of ‘anything could happen.’”
The match opened in the Polar Bears’ favor with a 10–0 run from Kiley Keating ’26 that gave way to a 25–16 win in the first set. LaMendola led the team in kills with 23, while setter Ella Haugen ’23 had 48 assists. Outside hitter Lily Janas ’26 finished with ten kills, and Mina Mittler ’26 and Lauren Lange ’24 added seven apiece.
“I knew that a lot of the teams in the NESCAC have really good defense and good liberos, so I wanted to make sure I was being intentional with my shots and where I swing if I wanted to put a hard-driven ball somewhere,” LaMendola said.
Maya White ’25 and LaMendola emphasized the role of a strategic game plan in the match’s outcome. White commended the Polar Bears’ “serve and pass game,” which she believed supported the team’s defense and upset Williams’ strong middle.
“With our tough serving, we put them out of system a lot so they couldn’t really run [their middle] a lot of the time, which helped us a lot because we were able to predict where the set was going and then get a good block up,” White said.
LaMendola added that the team focused on improving its game and executing its goals rather than just the outcome of the game. Bowdoin went into its match against Williams after suffering a 0–3 loss against Amherst College (6–7; 3–4 NESCAC) the night before. White echoed the team’s shift in outlook.
“We just went in with a lot of fire and passion. Williams is a great team; [we have] a lot of respect for them and their program, but I think we fixed the things that we needed to fix from Friday, and that’s what changed the outcome for us,” she said.
After losing the second set, the Polar Bears rebounded in the third set, tipping the scales of the game in their favor with a 6–0 run by Keating and four kills by LaMendola.
“I think that was just a testament to our inability to give up,” White said. “We were one point away from losing that set, but we kept our composure, and I think that really helped us finish out the set the way we wanted to.”
White opened the final set with a nine-point serving run, catapulting the team towards a 25–18 win to finish the match.
“I was really proud of [the serving run] because we were able to establish a larger lead which made us feel a little bit more comfortable finishing out that set,” White said.
The team carried this momentum into its match against Hamilton College (7–6; 3–3 NESCAC) last Friday. Bowdoin won by sets of 25–16, 16–25, 25–18, 16–25 and 15–12. Haugen led the team with 48 assists. White led the Polar Bear defense with 24 digs.
However, the Polar Bears lost 0–3 to Middlebury College (11–4; 5–1 NESCAC) last Saturday with set scores of 19–25, 7–25 and 16–25.
The team will play Trinity College (10–5; 3–3 NESCAC) at 7 p.m. tonight in Hartford, Conn.