WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Colby College volleyball team heads to the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championships with a smile on their faces after breaking a playoff drought dating back to the glory year of 2005.
The eighth-seeded Mules (11-14 overall, 3-7 NESCAC) will head to Bowdoin College on Friday to meet the top-seeded host school as quarterfinal round action begins. All four quarterfinal matches will be played at Bowdoin (see schedule below).
Colby last played in a NESCAC Championship in 2005, the year the Mules won the league title and made it all the way to the NCAA Division III Tournament final eight in Virginia.
Junior outside hitter Maggie Taylor leads the Mules in kills (210 total) and is third in defensive digs (273), while senior co-captain Caitlin Burchill is second in kills (204) and second in digs (283). Sophomore setter Kate Pleasants has a team-best 695 assists and is second in service aces (44). Emily Varni ranks second in the conference services per game (0.59, 52 total) and also leads in digs with 322. Senior co-captain Mackie Sewall (160 kills, 39 blocks), sophomore Lily Kramlich-Taylor (139 kills, 36 blocks), and sophomore Kate Bellerose (team-best 64 blocks) are other contributors.
Colby fell 3-1 and 3-0 to Bowdoin during the regular season, with both matches played in Brunswick.
Bowdoin, which has won 32 straight home matches, is 23-2 overall and finished 10-0 in the conference. The Polar Bears lead the league in blocks (2.13 per set) and Kristin Hanczor is first in hitting percentage (.359), second in blocks (1.01 per set), and seventh in kills (3.06 per set).
2011 NESCAC VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, November 4
No. 8 Colby at No. 1 Bowdoin – 5:00 p.m.
No. 7 Williams vs. No. 2 Tufts – 5:00 p.m.
No. 6 Connecticut College vs. No. 3 Middlebury – 8:00 p.m.
No. 5 Amherst vs. No. 4 Trinity – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 5
Semifinals, Center Court
Winner of No.1/No. 8 vs. Winner of No. 4/No. 5 – 1:00 p.m.
Winner of No. 2/No. 7 vs. Winner of No. 3/No. 6 – 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 6
Championship – 12:00 p.m.