WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - The Bowdoin College women's volleyball team survived a five-set thriller with Trinity College 25-15, 17-25, 19-25, 25-16, and 15-13 in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament Friday evening at Williams College.
Second-seeded Bowdoin improves to 22-6 on the year and advances to the NESCAC semifinals for the third consecutive season. The Polar Bears will play Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. against Amherst, who defeated Middlebury 3-1 in a quarterfinal match Friday night.
Christy Jewett led Bowdoin with 18 kills and 17 digs while Ellie Brennan pitched in 11 kills in the win. Taylor Vail delivered four aces with a match-high 20 digs for the Polar Bears. Quincy Leech (20 assists) and Sophia Cornew (18 assists) keyed the Bowdoin attack in the victory.
For seventh-seeded Trinity (15-12), Kate Giddens posted 14 kills and 15 digs. Hannah Brickley had 10 kills, 14 digs and three aces while Hunter Drews collected 10 kills. Amy Hackett delivered 21 assists and 11 digs to go with 17 assists and 12 digs from Randi Whitham.
The first set was won with relative comfort by the Polar Bears by the score of 25-15. At 4-4, the Polar Bears took over and went on a 5-0 streak and never trailed again. The Bantams rallied in the second set, taking it by a margin of 25-17. The Bantams went on an 8-1 run after dropping the first two points of the set. Sophomore Kate Giddens put in a great effort during that run, racking up a pair of aces and a pair of kills to lift the Bantams to an early 8-3 lead. After splitting the next six points, the Bantams went on another back-breaking streak of five points to go up 16-6 and put the second set out of reach for the Polar Bears.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the pivotal third set, but Brickley sparked an 11-3 Trinity run, including six points in a row. Brickley combined with junior setter Amy Hackett for a pair of kills before serving up three aces in a row, giving the Bantams a 25-19 win.
With their backs to the wall, the Polar Bears took command with a 25-16 fourth set victory. Bowdoin jumped to a quick 7-3 lead thanks in large part to three kills by Jewett, before going on a 6-1 surge later in the set to force a deciding set.
The Bantams claimed two quick points in a hotly-contested fifth set. The Polar Bears responded with a pair of kills from Jewett to key a 5-1 run. As the tiebreaker set progressed, the lead continued to be exchanged between the two teams. Down 8-5, Trinity's Cooprider delivered an ace to start a 3-0 run to knot the score. The teams continued to trade blows as an ace by Drews left the match all-square at 13-13.
Jewett delivered the final two points to put the Polar Bears over the top. After a dig by Leech, the sophomore floated a set to Brennan for the go-ahead kill. On match point she connected with the game-clinching kill, sending the Polar Bears to the semifinals.