The women’s volleyball team’s season ended on Saturday with a 3-1 loss to the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC tournament Tufts (10-0 NESCAC, 24-3 overall). The Polar Bears came out strong, winning the opening set 25-21, but the Jumbos, led by a strong service game, were able to pull away. Caroline Flaharty ’20 led the team with 11 kills in the match and Katie Doherty ’17 had a characteristically impressive defensive game with 26 digs.

This year’s team was never able to put together a sustained stretch of victories even though they dominated across the board, leading the league in kills, digs, assists and hitting percentage.

“It wasn’t our best win-loss record and in ways that was hard for us but I think we learned so much from every loss we had,” said captain Erika Sklaver ’17. “I’ve never seen a team improve every single week the way our team improved every week.” 

Despite the early exit from postseason play, some Polar Bears received individual accolades for their standout play throughout the season. Captain Quincy Leech ’17 and Doherty were named to the First Team All-NESCAC and Flaharty was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the Second Team. Doherty also claimed her third NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year award, making her the first athlete in league history to earn the title three times. 

 Leech and Doherty are part of one of the most impressive senior classes in the program’s history. Comprised of Leech, Doherty, Sklaver and Clare Geyer ’17, the Class of 2017’s impact on Bowdoin volleyball has been apparent over the course of their four years here and will last in the record books for years to come. 

Leech ranks second in all-time career assists and finishes her career only 9 away from the record of 3215 set in 2007. She also ranks fourth all-time for most assists in a single season after her impressive campaign last fall. 

Sklaver ranks third in career blocks and holds the record for most blocks in a single season, which she earned her sophomore year. 

Doherty became the first Bowdoin player to break 2000 career digs. Also, her single season dig totals in the last three seasons rank as the best three in program history and she ranks third for career service aces. 

Geyer has been an integral member of the team’s front line, making her presence as a middle blocker known from her first year when she earned .9 blocks per set over the course of the season.

 Although this season may be over, the team’s recent success has helped build up the program and Head Coach Erin Cady will have a new recruiting class coming in next season.

 “I have no doubt that this program will be so successful in the future. We already have a lot of recruits that are really going to help the program,” said Sklaver.

 Sklaver expects this class of graduating seniors to continue the legacy of aggressively supporting the team for years to come even though they won’t be suiting up.

 “It’s a really cool tradition that has been started the last few years,” said Sklaver. “I mean [cheering may not be] as fun as playing, but the next best thing is cheering the way our alumni cheer—they look like they have a lot of fun.”