The seventh seeded Volleyball team fell to the second seed Middlebury in four sets last Friday in the NESCAC conference tournament. The tournament was eventually won by the Panthers of Middlebury, who beat the regular season conference champions and tournament hosts Tufts, in five sets in the final on Sunday. For Bates, this marked the end of an exciting, up and down season.
“I am so proud of the team’s accomplishments this year. Throughout the season, there were definitely some ups and downs but I think overall the program is headed in an upward trajectory. Beating Middlebury and going .500 in conference marks a serious transformation in the program from when I started as a freshman.” said Chandler McGrath ‘17.
After a slow start to the season, Bates finished their conference schedule strong. They won four of their final six matches finishing with a 5-5 showing in the NESCAC, good enough for seventh place. After an upset victory last week over Middlebury in their final match of the regular season, the standings were complete, and a rematch was in order between Bates and Middlebury, as both teams drew each other in the first round of the postseason tournament.
The Panthers were able to bounce back from their upset loss, and handily dispatched the Bobcats, the first match in what would be a three match romp to the tournament crown over the course of the weekend. McGrath shouldered the load for the Bobcats as she has done all season, tallying 24 kills in her final collegiate match. Hannah Blackburn helped Middlebury defend well, notching 27 digs, while Becca Raffel led the offense with 22 kills.