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Volleyball Falls Short in NESCAC Thriller at Bowdoin, 3-1

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

BRUNSWICK, Maine – In a thrilling matchup that featured two undefeated NESCAC teams, Bowdoin College prevailed over the Wesleyan University volleyball team, 3-1. Friday night's match in Morrell Gymnasium lived up to the hype but the Cardinals came up just short despite a valiant effort. With the win, the Polar Bears (23-1, 9-0) earned hosting duties at next weekend's NESCAC Tournament. The Cardinals (15-4, 8-1) secured the No. 2 seed.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

  • In an intense and thrilling first set, the Polar Bears mounted a late comeback to win in extra points, 30-28. The Cardinals took a 17-13 lead following a kill from Stasie Litinsky '20 but Bowdoin answered with a 4-0 run to even the score. Late in the set, another kill from Litinsky put Wesleyan up 24-21, but the home team scored three unanswered points to tie the set at 24-24. From there, it went back-and-forth until the Polar Bears eventually put it away with three-straight points. The first set featured 10 ties.
  • It was a similar story in the second frame as the set went back-and-forth from the beginning. It featured 16 ties as Sophia Pahl sealed the 25-22 win with a kill followed by a service ace. Bowdoin had 17 kills in the set while Wesleyan recorded 11.
  • The Cardinals played efficiently in the third frame en route to the victory as they won, 25-20. They recorded 14 kills with just three errors for a .275 hitting percentage. The set was tied at 19-19 but a kill by Litinsky gave Wesleyan the lead and the visitors didn't look back. After back-to-back kills from Litinsky, Bowdoin got within one following a kill from Caroline Flaharty, but four unanswered points by the Cardinals cut the match deficit to one, 2-1.
  • Wesleyan faced an early five-point deficit in the fourth but rallied off seven-straight points to go ahead, 13-11. From then, both teams exchanged points often. The Cardinals held a 25-24 lead but the home team scored the final three points. Lisa Sheldon sealed the win with an impressive dig that went over the net and landed in a corner where no Wesleyan defender was as the Polar Bears won 27-25.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Three players recorded double-digit kills for Wesleyan as Mia Hogan '20 led the way with 17, Litinsky tallied 15 with a .371 hitting percentage, and Harper Graves '21 added 13 and 10 digs. Phia Bellizzi '21 had a stellar performance defensively and finished with a match-high 32 digs and Kaira Muraoka-Robertson '20 dished out 48 assists. Wesleyan as a team totaled 58 kills.
  • Bowdoin was led by Flaharty and Ashley Williams with 20 and 18 kills, respectively. Kate Kiser led all players with 54 assists and Sheldon totaled a team-high 29 digs. In addition to her 20 kills, Flaharty also totaled 21 digs. Bowdoin registered 67 kills as a team.

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals return to action tomorrow and will wrap up regular season play against Tufts on the road in a rematch of the 2017 NESCAC Championship. The match is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.