MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Bowdoin College volleyball team was eliminated from contention for hosting the NESCAC Championship with a 3-1 loss to Middlebury on Friday evening in Vermont.
The 22nd-ranked Polar Bears (24-3, 7-2) see their 12-match winning streak come to an end as they play their regular season finale at Williams tomorrow. The best Bowdoin can finish in league play is 8-2, which would put them in a two or three-way tie for first place in the conference. The Polar Bears would lose any tiebreaker scenarios.
The Panthers (18-6, 7-2) wrap-up their NESCAC regular season on Saturday when they host Tufts at 2:00 p.m.
Middlebury came out charging in the first set, leading 11-2 before later taking a 16-3 advantage behind nine straight serves from Caitlin Barrett. The Panthers hit .423 in the set as they came away with the 25-13 win. Bowdoin led 6-3 in the second set before Middlebury came back to tie it at 9-9. The Polar Bears came back strong, pulling away late for a 25-19 victory in the second session. The third set saw the Panthers go on a run behind five serves from Meg Anderson, with Bowdoin later tying the match at 16-16. Middlebury played well late, emerging with the 25-21 win to take a 2-1 lead. The fourth and deciding set was back and forth throughout, with Megan Jarchow ending the match with a kill for the 26-24 win.
Jarchow finished with a match-high 13 kills, while Amy Hart added 11 and Piper Underbrink chipped in with nine. Barrett led all players with 17 digs, followed by Kathryn Haderlein with 16 digs and 38 assists and Julia Gibbs with 15 digs. Madeline Firestone finished the match with three blocks, while Underbrink had 1.5.
Melissa Haskell led the Bowdoin attack with 12 kills, with eight from Ellie Brennan and seven by Christy Jewitt. Brennan and Taylor Vail each had 14 digs in the match, with 13 from Sophia Cornew to go with her 39 assists.