Volleyball Rallies Past Tufts to Advance to NESCAC Championship

Volleyball Rallies Past Tufts to Advance to NESCAC Championship

BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Bowdoin College volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to stun Tufts, 3-2, in the semifinals of the 2018 NESCAC Tournament on Saturday.

With the win Bowdoin (26-1) advances to Sunday's NESCAC title match, where they will face the winner of Amherst-Wesleyan at noon. Tufts (16-10) will hold out hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Match Highlights

  • The Polar Bears took the opening set, but had to rally past Tufts in the eventual 25-22, 20-25, 13-25, 25-21, 15-9 victory.
  • With the first set tied at 13 apiece, Bowdoin used a 5-1 surge, sparked by kills from Kate Kiser and Caroline Flaharty to take a lead they would never relinquish en route to the 25-22 win and 1-0 advantage.
  • Tufts sprinted out of the gate in the second set, taking an 11-6 lead on four kills from Cate Desler. Bowdoin climbed to within three points, at 19-16, but could get no closer as a 5-2 Tufts run put the set out of reach and tied the match at 1-1.
  • The third set was all Jumbos as Tufts cruised to a 25-13 win. The visitors took an 8-3 lead early and stretched their lead to 21-10 as they put Bowdoin up against the ropes in taking a 2-1 overall match lead.
  • Bowdoin answered in the fourth, never trailing after taking a 5-2 lead. Tufts closed to within two points at 14-12, but the Polar Bears answered with a 6-1 run to put the set out of reach and force a deciding fifth.
  • Tufts scored the first two points of the deciding fifth and held a 3-1 lead before Bowdoin came alive with a 4-0 run to take the lead. Tufts tied the match at 6-6 but a 4-1 Polar Bear run pushed the hosts ahead for good. Bowdoin ended the match on a 4-1 run, ending it on consecutive kills by Flaharty and Kiser to seal it.

By The Numbers

  • A balanced attack for Bowdoin was led by 13 kills from Ashley Williams and Sophia Pahl wile Caroline Flaharty had 12.
  • Kate Kiser had 46 assists and seven digs while Lisa Sheldon had 29 digs. Cori Gray had seven blocks while Emily King (17 digs) and Caroline Flaharty (16 digs) pitched in defensively.
  • Christina Nwankpa and Cate Desler had 12 kills each for Tufts. Rachel Furash added 31 assists while Sophia Acker had a team-high 19 digs.
  • Tufts was victimized by ten service errors while Bowdoin survived 28 attack errors in the win.
  • The win was the fifth five-set match for Bowdoin this year, including back on September 21 at Tufts. The Polar Bears are 5-0 in five-setters this season.

Up Next

  • Bowdoin faces the winner of Wesleyan-Amherst at noon on Sunday in the NESCAC Championship. The Polar Bears are looking for their third conference title (2011, 2015).