Blue Volleyball Opens MIT Invite With Five-Set Setback To Bowdoin

Nikki Jensen sparked a fourth set rally to send the match to a fifth game (Caitlin Gordon '22).
Nikki Jensen sparked a fourth set rally to send the match to a fifth game (Caitlin Gordon '22).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Bowdoin College volleyball earned a 15-9 victory in the fifth set to take a 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 20-25, 15-9) win over Wellesley College volleyball on the opening night of the MIT Invitational on Friday at Rockwell Cage. 

The Polars Bears evened their record against the Blue following a 3-2 setback last week and are now 3-2 overall. Wellesley is now 4-2 on the season.

Junior Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) finished with a team-high 15 kills to lead Wellesley, while classmate Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) chipped in with 11 kills. Sophomore Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) added 10 kills and 10 digs to finish with a double-double. Sophomore setter Izzy Seebold (Concord, N.C.) totaled 40 assists and 11 digs for her own double-double, while senior Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) had a team-high 14 digs.

Sophomore Sophia Pahl (Cedarburg, Wis.) finished with a match-high 16 kills to lead Bowdoin. Pahl was one of four Polar Bears with double digit kills, as senior Caroline Flaharty (Fort Myers, Fla.) added 12, and Ashley Williams (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Adrienne Miller (Arlington, Va.) each added ten. Flaharty also had a match-high 20 digs. Junior setter Kate Kiser (Ingleside, Ill.) had a match-high 42 assists and classmate Emily King (Apple Valley, Minn.) added 19 digs.

Bowdoin broke free late to capture the opening set. Leading 20-18, the Polar Bears scored four straight points to jump to a 24-18 lead. Jessica Washington (Seattle, Wash.) held off set point with a Blue kill, but the set ended, 25-19, on a Blue service error. Wellesley countered with their own 25-19 victory in the second set to tie the match. With the set tied 19-19, the Blue scored six straight points to tie the match. 

The Polar Bears controlled the third set early, jumping to leads of 13-7 and 23-12. Wellesley gave a late push, scoring four straight to cut the deficit to 23-16, but a Gedney error and a kill from Flaherty ended the set in Bowdoin's favor, 25-16. Sparked by eight kills from Jensen, Wellesley never trailed in the fourth set, earning a 25-20 win to tie the match 2-2 and send the game to a fifth set. The Blue finished the fourth set with 16 kills and just two errors.

Bowdoin raced to an 8-3 lead before the teams switched sides in the fifth game. The Polars continued to push, taking a 10-3 lead on a Blue error. Wellesley countered to cut the deficit to 11-6 but the Blue would get no closer than five points, as Bowdoin closed out a 15-9 win on a kill by Pahl.

The Blue continue play at MIT on Saturday, September 14, with a 12:00 PM match-up with Endicott and a 4:30 PM start against Tufts.