BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Amherst College women's volleyball team reached the finals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship, but had to settle for their fourth runner-up finish as a program after they were defeated by top-seeded Bowdoin College 3-1 (25-19, 16-25, 25-13, 25-13).
The Polar Bears (27-1) have won their third NESCAC title in program history and tied the program record for wins in a season. Bowdoin will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament, while Amherst (22-5) while have to wait for their fate to be announced in the NCAA Selection Show, Monday at 12:30 pm.
Amherst jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the second set and ran away with a 25-16 victory to tie the set after Bowdoin had pulled away with 6-2 and 5-0 runs in the opening frame.
Cameron Hendricks '20 had a pair of kills to spark the surge in the second set and ended the night with four kills and two blocks.
Emily Kolsky '20 had a game-high 15 kills and finished the tournament with 55 kills in three matches, an average of 4.58 kills per set. Jamie Dailey '21 and Claire Dennis '20 had eight kills apiece, while Charlotte Duran '20 tallied 35 assists and 21 digs.
Amherst led early in the third set, but Bowdoin took command with an 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 earned a 25-13 win and a 2-1 overall lead.
Bowdoin took a 6-2 lead in the fourth and never surrendered the advantage. The Polar Bears had 14 kills and just 1 error in the final set, and clinched the title on a block by Cori Gray and kills by Flaharty and Ashley Williams.
Skyleur Savage '22 led Amherst with 22 digs, while Kolsky had a double double with 19 digs to go with her 15 kills and a block.
Williams and Sydney Salle both had 12 kills, while Salle also had five blocks for the Polar Bears. Flaharty added 13 kills and 14 digs while Lisa Sheldon had 29 digs and Pahl had 24 digs and four service aces. Kate Kiser handed out 41 assists for Bowdoin.