MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Nicole Hilton '18 recorded a team-high 11 kills with a .450 hitting percentage to help lead the Wesleyan University women's volleyball team to an impressive 3-0 sweep against Bowdoin College Friday night in Silloway Gymnasium.
In a crucial NESCAC matchup, the Cardinals snapped an eight-match losing streak against the Polar Bears by scores of 25-15, 25-23, 27-25. Wesleyan is now 18-4 overall and sits alone in second-place in the conference standings with an 8-1 mark. Bowdoin drops to 13-9 overall and 7-2 in league play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Cardinals jumped out to a big lead early in the first set (6-1), but the visitors slowly cut into the deficit and got within two down the stretch, 16-14. However, a timeout by Wesleyan sparked a 7-0 run by the Cardinals as they pulled away with a commanding 25-15 win.
- The second game went back-and-forth early as a kill from Stasie Litinsky '20 evened the score at 7-7. Bowdoin scored six of the next seven points to take a strong lead, but Wesleyan went on an incredible 12-5 run to go ahead by two (20-18). After a kill from Bowdoin's Sydney Salle knotted the game at 22-22, Hilton recorded back-to-back kills off assists from Grace Rose '21, and a Bowdoin service error two points later sealed the victory for the Cardinals.
- The third and final set featured another thriller. Tied at 7-7, a kill from Gabby Bennett '20 sparked a 9-1 run by Wesleyan. The home team held a lead for the majority of the game until consecutive kills from the Polar Bears evened the score at 23-23. Salle put the visitor's ahead 25-24 with another kill, but an attack error followed by two-straight blocks from Wesleyan put the game away, 27-25.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Hilton registered just two errors on 20 attempts, and Litinsky finished with eight kills and a .389 attack clip. Kaira Muraoka-Robertson '20 dished out a team-high 23 assists and finished with seven digs, while Phia Bellizzi '21 led the defensive efforts with 16 digs.
- Bowdoin was led by Salle with 13 kills, while Ashley Williams finished with nine and Caroline Flaharty registered seven. Kate Kiser totaled a match-high 34 assists and added 10 digs, while Lisa Sheldon led all players with 17 digs.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- With the win, Wesleyan snapped its eight-match losing streak against the Polar Bears and now leads the all-time series 20-9. Prior to tonight's match, the Cardinals' last win against Bowdoin occurred in the 2008 NESCAC Tournament.
- Before to the start of tonight's match, Wesleyan honored its lone senior class member, Sarah Swenson. In 83 career matches, Swenson has amassed 649 kills, 166 digs, and 111 blocks.
- The Cardinals host a crucial NESCAC showdown tomorrow, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. against Tufts (19-5, 9-0 NESCAC). The winner will host the 2017 NESCAC Tournament Friday, Nov. 3 – Sunday, Nov. 5.