BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Bowdoin College women's volleyball team outlasted Amherst, 3-1, to win the 2018 New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship on Sunday afternoon at Morrell Gymnasium.
The Polar Bears (27-1) win their third NESCAC title (2011, 2015) and tie the program record for wins in a season. Amherst drops to 22-5 with the loss and finish as conference runners-up for the fourth time.
- The Polar Bears earned the win with a 25-19, 16-25, 25-13, 25-13 decision.
- The first set was the most competitive of the afternoon, as the teams traded blows in the early going. Bowdoin pulled ahead with a 6-2 run, keyed by Sydney Salle and Kate Kiser kills to take a lead they would not relinquish. The Polar Bears sealed it with a 5-0 run later in the set and took the 1-0 lead with a 25-19 triumph.
- Amherst controlled the second set, jumping to a 7-0 lead. Cameron Hendricks had a pair of kills to spark the surge. Bowdoin was able to cut the lead to three points, 18-15, but the Mammoths closed the set on a 7-1 run to clinch the 25-16 win and deadlock the match at one apiece.
- Trailing early in the crucial third set, Bowdoin took command with 8-0 run on Sophia Pahl's service. Pahl had two aces in the run and Caroline Flaharty put home a pair of kills as the Polar Bears cruised to the 25-13 win and 2-1 overall lead.
- After losing the first point of the fourth set, Bowdoin rolled off a 6-1 run to gain a lead they would never surrender. The Polar Bears had 14 kills and one error in the final set and took advantage of eight Amherst miscues to pull away. A block by Cori Gray and kills by Caroline Flaharty and Ashley Williams clinched the title for the Polar Bears.
By The Numbers
- Ashley Williams and Sydney Salle both had 12 kills against one error for the Polar Bears in the win. Salle also had five blocks in the victory.
- Caroline Flaharty added 13 kills and 14 digs while Lisa Sheldon (29 digs) and Sophia Pahl (24) were outstanding defensively for the Polar Bears. Pahl added four service aces in the match.
- Kate Kiser handed out 41 assists for the Polar Bears.
- Emily Kolsky had a match-high 15 kills to go with 19 digs for the Mammoths, who got eight kills apiece from Jamie Dailey and Claire Dennis.
- Charlotte Duran had 35 assists and 21 digs for Amherst.
- Bowdoin earns the NESCAC's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament that begins on Friday, November 9. The complete field will be announced at NCAA.com on Monday.
- Amherst will await word on an at-large bid to the tournament when selections are announced Monday.