After losing its opening match in the final weekend of NESCAC play, the women's volleyball team rallied to win its final two games, earning a seventh seed in this weekend's NESCAC tournament. With the victories, the team finished the regular season 12-16 (4-6 NESCAC). They will face Tufts in the first round on Friday at Williams.
Having only two NESCAC wins coming into this weekend, the team knew that it needed to win at least two games to qualify for the tournament.
"Last season, three wins got us to the tournament. It became apparent sometime during the weekend that three wins wasn't going to cut it this year. Without four wins, our season was going to end," Coach Kellie Bearman said.
The team first faced Wesleyan this weekend at Bates. After falling behind 2-0, the team emerged from a team huddle to win its third game, 30-23. However, Wesleyan's attack was too much for the Polar Bears, as it finished Bowdoin off in the fourth game, winning the match 3-1 (30-21, 30-22, 23-30, 30-20).
Fortunately, the loss did not dishearten the Bears. The team next faced Trinity, a match that the Bears dominated, sweeping the contest, 3-0 (30-20, 30-27, 30-25). Bolstered with confidence after this convincing win, the team finished its NESCAC weekend with a match against the Camels of Connecticut College. After a strong victory in the first game, the Camels won a very close second game, 30-28. The Bears responded to this challenge and finished off Conn College in four games, winning 3-1 (30-17, 28-30, 30-17, 30-22).
These two NESCAC victories gave Bowdoin four on the year, tying them with both Bates and Wesleyan. Since each team split their head-to-head matches against the others, the teams were drawn from a hat to determine seeding for the NESCAC tournament. Bates was drawn first, seeding them sixth, followed by Bowdoin with the seventh seed and finally Wesleyan with the eighth seed.
Coach Kellie Bearman was pleased with the regular season results. "Our goals this year were to beat Bates and Colby, to seed higher in the post-season than we did last year and to finish the season stronger than we began it. We beat Bates, we're seeded 7th instead of 8th and we're most definitely stronger now than when we began the season. Three out of four ain't bad."
The team next faces the second-seeded Tufts Friday at 6 p.m. at Williams in the NESCAC tournament. Although Bowdoin is the underdog, Bearman expressed confidence in the team's chances this weekend. "A Tufts win for us this weekend would be a real upset, but I've seen this team play matches that would take Tufts. I'm beyond confident that we can bring that match with us Friday night," she said. With this confidence, the team should surprise some teams in the NESCAC tournament.