MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Wellesley College volleyball earned a 17-15 win in the fifth set to clinch a 3-2 (24-26, 25-22, 27-29, 25-15, 17-15) win over Bowdoin College in non-conference action on Friday night at the Wesleyan (Conn.) Invitational.
Wellesley rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 set deficits to improve to 2-0 on the season. Bowdoin is 0-1 to start the season. The two teams will meet again next Friday, September 13, at the MIT Invitational.
Junior Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) finished with a match-high 21 kills and on 56 attempts (.286) for the Blue. Outside hitters Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) and Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) each totaled double-doubles, as Doerges finished with 16 kills and 14 digs and Jensen tallied 11 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore setter Izzy Seebold (Concord, N.C.) had a double-double of her own with 40 assists and 17 digs. Senior libero Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) totaled a match-high 22 digs.
Three players finished with double-digit kills for the Polar Bears, led by Caroline Flaharty's (Fort Myers, Fla.) 16 on 45 attempts (.244). Flaharty added 17 digs to finish with a double-double. Sophia Paul (Cedarburg, Wis.) also recorded a double-double for Bowdoin with 13 kills and 12 digs. Ashley Williams (Lake Forest, Ill.) was the third Polar Bear in double-figures on offense with 13 kills. Kate Kiser (Ingleside, Ill.) dished out 48 assists and Emily King (Apple Valley, Minn.) finished with a team-high 19 digs.
With Wellesley leading 24-23 late in the first set, Flaharty and Williams put down back-to-back kills to swing the set back in favor of the Polar Bears. A Blue error then helped Bowdoin take a 1-0 lead. Trailing 1-0, the Blue seized momentum late in the second set to tie the match, 1-1. With the score tied 20-20, Wellesley scored five of the final six points in the frame, eventually capturing the set 25-21 on a Flaharty service error.
Bowdoin only trailed briefly in the third set but had to withstand a late push from the Blue to hold on for a 29-27 victory and a 2-1 advantage in the match. However, for the second time on the night, the Blue rallied to tie the match. Wellesley never trailed in the fourth set, turning a 19-10 lead into a 25-15 victory.
Trailing 7-4 in the fifth set, the Blue scored three straight points to knot the score at 7-7. Wellesley then jumped to a 14-11 lead before Bowdoin fought off three straight match points to make the score 14-14. A Kiser kill gave Bowdoin a 15-14 lead, but kills from Gedney and Doerges and a match ending block from Doerges and Molly Weik (Seattle, Wash.) clinched the victory for Wellesley.
The Blue continue the Wesleyan (Conn.) Invitational with a pair of matches tomorrow. Wellesley will play the host Cardinals at 10:00 AM before closing out the tournament at 2:00 PM against Rhode Island College.