Volleyball Defeats Worcester State in NCAA Tournament Opener

Photo courtesy of Adam Richins
Photo courtesy of Adam Richins

BABSON PARK, Mass. – The Bowdoin College women's volleyball team shook off a first set loss to dispatch Worcester State, 3-1, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Friday afternoon at Babson College.

With the win, the Polar Bears (28-1) set a new program record for wins in a season (28) and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against the winner of Johns Hopkins/Eastern. Worcester State finishes its season with a record of 23-11.

Match Highlights

  • Bowdoin rallied to take the win by set scores of 23-25, 25-22, 25-14, 25-17.
  • The Polar Bears owned a late lead in the opening set, but committed 12 attack errors that eventually doomed them in falling behind 1-0. Leading 21-19, three straight attack errors gave the Lancers a 22-21 lead. Bowdoin would tie it at 22 and 23, but back-to-back kills by Stephanie Chapin and Amari King gave Worcester State the 1-0 advantage.
  • Bowdoin struggled to hit their stride again in a back-and-forth second set, but closed on a 6-3 run to even the score at 1-1. The Lancers closed to within one point, 23-22, but consecutive finishes by Sydney Salle put Bowdoin over the top.
  • The Lancers bounced back to take a 10-6 lead out of the gate in the crucial third set, but Bowdoin found the gas pedal, rolling off an 18-2 surge that gave them a 24-12 lead just moments later. Three Caroline Flaharty kills sparked the run and Ashley Williams finished off the set with a trio of kills to give Bowdoin a 2-1 overall lead.
  • Bowdoin jumped out of the gate with an 8-1 lead in the fourth set and, although Worcester State was able to climb back and cut the lead to 10-9, the Polar Bears answered with a decisive 7-2 run, capped by a block from Flaharty and Cori Gray, to take a 17-11 edge. A kill by Kate Kiser, service ace from Sophia Pahl and kill by Caroline Flaharty closed out the set and match for Bowdoin.

By The Numbers

  • Four Polar Bears reached double digits in kills, led by 13 from Sophia Pahl, who also had three service aces and ten digs.
  • Caroline Flaharty had 11 kills and 20 digs for Bowdoin while Cori Gray added ten and three aces. Ashley Williams pitched in a dozen kills as well.
  • Kate Kiser racked up 49 assists and a trio of aces. Lisa Sheldon had a team-best 26 digs.
  • Emily Carens led the Lancers with 12 kills and 11 digs. Alli Nolan dished out 32 assists and Megan Leavens had 26 digs.

Up Next

  • Bowdoin will face either Johns Hopkins or Eastern in the second round of the tournament on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Babson.
  • The Polar Bears have never faced Johns Hopkins and have no common opponents this year. Bowdoin has played Eastern once, in 2013 (a 3-0 Eastern win), and both teams defeated Scranton this year.