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Polar Bears come out on top over Bobcats in volleyball, 3-1

Senior captain Katie Graeff notched 35 assists in her final home match.

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College volleyball team dropped a spirited NESCAC match to visiting Bowdoin College Wednesday night at Alumni Gymnasium, winning the first game before giving way to the Polar Bears by a 3-1 (22-30, 30-25, 30-25, 30-28) score.

Strong blocking and back-row defense spurred the Bobcats in the first game, as they gradually pulled away for the 30-22 result. The Polar Bears then prevailed in three straight closely contested games, finally clinching the decisive game after Bates clawed back from a deficit of 22-18 to tie it at 26-26, then falling behind 29-26 only to close the gap to 28-29.

In her final home match for Bates, senior setter Katie Graeff (Chevy Chase, Md.) handed out 35 assists. First-year Liz Leberman (Concord, N.H.) tied for the match high with 11 kills, and sophomore Beth Billington (St. Paul, Minn.) had a match-high five blocks to go with seven kills. First-years Avery Masters (Mill Valley, Calif.) and Tess Dokus (Salem, Conn.) had eight and seven kills, respectively.

First-year Jenna Diggs (La Jolla, Calif.) led Bowdoin (16-4, 4-1 NESCAC) with 23 digs and 26 assists. Senior Erin Prifogle (Eaton, Ohio) had a team-high 11 kills and four blocks. Other Bowdoin statistical leaders included first-year Gillian Page (nine kills, 22 digs), junior Jess Liu (20 digs), junior Margo Linton (21 assists) and first-year Skye Lawrence (eight kills).

Bates next plays at Tufts in another NESCAC matchup Friday at 8 p.m.; Bowdoin will host Amherst Saturday at 12 p.m.

STATS: Bowdoin 3, Bates 1