NEW LONDON, Conn. - The Bowdoin College women's volleyball team mounted one of the most dramatic comeback wins in program history on Saturday, ralling from two sets down to take a dramatic 3-2 win over Springfield in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The Polar Bears, who were five points away from defeat, down 20-16 in the third set, stormed back to earn their school-record 28th win and improve to 28-4 on the year. Bowdoin advances to the third round of the Tournament for the first time in program history and will look to earn its first-ever trip to the National Quarterfinals in tomorrow's regional final match scheduled for 4:00 p.m. against UMass Boston.
After losing the first two sets by identical 25-21 scores, Bowdoin appeared on the edge of ending its season, down 20-16 in the third. The Polar Bears closed the set on a 9-2 charge and regained their footing with a 25-20 win in the fourth, setting the stage for the decisive fifth set.
Again, Springfield took an early 5-3 lead, but Bowdoin clamped down and went on a 7-to-1 run to take a 10-6 edge. Springfield got one point back but Melissa Haskell put down three of the final four points with kills to seal the 15-7 win for the Polar Bears
Senior co-captains Haskell and Tory Edelman led the charge for the Polar Bears in the win. Haskell had a match-high 19 kills and 10 digs while Edelman finished with 17 kills. Christy Jewett buried 16 kills with just two errors and had five blocks, hitting .483 in the triumph. Junior setter Sophia Cornew had 55 assists and 20 digs. Taylor Vail finished with 20 digs while senior Hillary Cederna had 18 digs.
Tessa Smolinski buried 15 kills to go with 20 digs for the Pride. Kelsey McGayhey finished with 13 kills. Whitney Miller dished out 34 assists for Springfield. Amy Entel registered 26 digs in the setback.
UMass Boston and Bowdoin have played twice already this season with the Polar Bears claiming both matches, 3-1 on September 8 and 3-0 on September 25. The Beacons did defeat the Polar Bears in their lone NCAA Tournament meeting in 2011.