Date Posted:02/19/2007,  8:00AM

Bowdoin Men's Volleyball takes Second in DII North

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Bowdoin took second of six teams in the NECVL DII North Division Sunday for the second year in a row. Last season, Bowdoin was 4-2 in the North but was awarded the second place spot based on point differential. This year, in two tournaments Bowdoin defeated Colby, Plymouth State University, Bates, UNE, and USM to achieve a 5-1 record and the second place spot. The only team in the North to defeat Bowdoin was the UMaine Black Bears, the team Bowdoin played first.

On February 3 at UNE, Bowdoin lost to DII North's top seed, UMaine-Orono, 0-2 with scores of 20-25 and 22-25. The Polar Bears had to play with almost no warm-up whatsoever, and in the first moments of the game lost middle Jeff Jeng to a hand injury. Regardless, the team put up quite a fight against UMaine, led especially by the solid all-around play of junior captain Felix Jaeckel (9 digs, 6 kills, 3 aces), senior captain Justin Strasburger (11 digs, 7 kills), and setter/right side David White (8 kills, 13 assists, 3 aces). Senior setter Jordan Krechmer (8 digs, 15 assists) distributed the ball, while senior libero Cait Polistena anchored the defense with 16 digs. After this loss, Bowdoin had to go 5 and 0 in their remaining divisional matches to take the second place spot.

Next up, Bowdoin came out strong against conference rival Bates, playing with consistency and intensity to sweep the match 2-0 (25-21, 26-24). Bowdoin's defense won the day behind the efforts of Cait Polistena (16 digs), Justin Strasburger (11 digs), and sophomore middle Adi Ranganath (4 blocks). Meanwhile, the solid all-around play of Felix Jaeckel (6 kills, 9 digs), David White (12 kills, 15 digs, 12 assists), Jordan Krechmer (12 assists), and sophomore right side Nick Sanchez (5 kills) finished Bates off.

Bowdoin finished the day with possibly the most important match of the season--what turned out to be the battle for second place spot in DII North--with rival Colby. As always, both teams played with intensity and power, though Bowdoin rallied for the come-back behind the earth-shattering play of David White (15 kills, 17 digs, 17 assists, 6 blocks), Justin Strasburger (8 kills, 21 digs), Felix Jaeckel (5 kills, 16 digs, 6 blocks), and Nick Sanchez (8 kills). Jordan Krechmer distributed 19 assists and contributed 13 digs. The defense was anchored by the solid block of Adi Ranganath (6 blocks) and sophomore middle Chris Carlin (5 blocks, 10 digs) while Cait Polistena posted 23 digs. Bowdoin took the match 2-1 with scores of 23-25, 25-23, and 15-12.

In the next divisional tournament, on February 18 at UNE, Bowdoin was awarded a forfeit victory over Plymouth State, the team Bowdoin beat to advance to the Elite Eight last season for the first time in school history. Plymouth was unable to make the tournament, so the rematch will have to be postponed.

Bowdoin started the day with a big 2-0 victory over host UNE with scores of 25-22 and 25-20. The team played with consistency and control, and the defense of Justin Strasburger (12 digs), Cait Polistena (14 digs), and Chris Carlin (5 blocks) was crucial in maintaining that control. Meanwhile, setters Jordan Krechmer (13 assists) and David White (10 assists, 8 kills, 10 digs) distributed the ball evenly to clinch the victory. Felix Jaeckel and Nick Sanchez contributed 5 kills each.

Bowdoin successfully completed its five match winning streak to clinch the second place spot in the North with their 2-0 victory over USM with scores of 25-14 and 25-20. Bowdoin was led by Justin Strasburger (5 kills, 12 digs), Felix Jaeckel (4 kills, 4 aces), David White (5 kills, 11 assists, 12 digs), and Jordan Krechmer (9 assists, 8 digs). Chris Carlin also contributed 4 blocks to seal the victory.

Bowdoin will go into Interdivisional play (to be held February 24th at Fairfield) with confidence as they face off against Coast Guard, Amherst, and Fairfield. The team hopes to continue their victory streak and bring this confidence all the way to NECVL Playoffs on March 31st and April 1st.