Date Posted:09/09/2004,  3:00PM

2004 Volleyball Season Preview

Head Coach: Kellie Bearman (4th season, 29-62)

Leading Returners: Julie Calareso (314 kills, 72 service aces, 334 digs, pictured), Nina Durchfort (197 kills, 69 solo blocks), Erica Michel (112 kills, 224 digs), Sarita Fu (329 assists, 81 digs)

Key Losses: Bryony Heise

Newcomers: Lyndsey Colburn, Kristen Lee, Margo Linton, Jess Liu

2003 RECAP: The Polar Bears started the season red-hot, jumping out to a 6-1 mark. Once in NESCAC play, Bowdoin came back to earth, but the Polar Bears were contenders throughout the season and clinched the team's first-ever NESCAC postseason bid. Bowdoin lost in the first-round to eventual champion Williams, but gained valuable experience in the process.

2004 PREVIEW: The Polar Bears appear poised to enter the league's elite as a young and talented squad gained some much-needed depth in recruiting. Sophomore Julie Calareso looks to be the team's go-to player as she led the squad in kills (314), aces (72) and digs (334) last year. Classmates Nina Durchfort, Erin Prifogle, Jessica Brooks look to be the keystone of the squad, while juniors Sarita Fu, Erica Michel, Ellie Simon and Kelly Bougere will be the leadership and experience on a team that has no seniors. Bowdoin will begin the season at the Gordon Invitational, and will open their NESCAC campaign with a difficult Williams-Middlebury-Hamilton weekend in Clinton on September 17-18. Bowdoin will host the Polar Bear Invitational on September 26 and will host a NESCAC Weekend on October 16. The key to the season may be the final weekend with playoff seeds on the line. Bowdoin will play Wesleyan, Trinity and Conn. College on October 29-30 at Bates to close out the year.

DID YOU KNOW: Julie Calareso's 72 service aces in 2003 shattered the school record for single-season aces set by Melissa Schulenberg in 1991.

COACH BEARMAN SAYS: "Once again we are a very young team, but I fully expect our major contributors from last year to give us the maturity to make it through the tweaks and bumps of the next couple of weeks. Our theme this year is to have intense, quality practices and bring a commitment to ending the season stronger than we begin it."