FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BATES VOLLEYBALL TO HOST ECAC DIV. III NORTH CHAMPIONSHIPS
LEWISTON, Maine -- After finishing the regular season with an 30-6 record, second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), the Bates College volleyball team has earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III North Tournament. The Bobcats will play host to the eight-team field on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13.
As the top seed, the Bobcats will play host to No. 8 Brandeis University (23-17) at 8 p.m. Friday night in the first round. The Judges are the only team in the field that Bates has not played this season.
The other 8 p.m. match on Nov. 12 pits No. 2 Springfield College against No. 7 Wheaton College.
At 6 p.m. on Friday, No. 3 MIT takes on No. 6 Wesleyan University, and NESCAC rivals No. 4 Middlebury College and No. 5 Williams College square off.
The semifinal round will be played Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. with the winner of the Bates/Brandeis match meeting the winner of the Middlebury/Williams match in one game and the Springfield/Wheaton and MIT/Wesleyan winners in the other. The finals will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 13.
The Bobcats are defending ECAC North champions and also won the championship in 1989 and 1990. Their 30 wins this year is the most by a Bates team in a season since 1993. The Bobcats are the two-time defending State of Maine champions and finished the regular season undefeated in Alumni Gym, going 8-0. The Bobcats are 12-1 against the other teams in the field, with their only loss coming to No. 7 Wheaton in the first match of the season.
"We have had some great crowds in Alumni Gym this year," said first-year head coach Tim Byram. "Hopefully we can use it to our benefit one more time."
The Bobcats are paced by junior setter Kate Hagstrom of Portola, Calif., the NESCAC Player of the Year. Hagstrom was fifth in the nation in service aces per game in the most recent NCAA Division III statistics, with 126 in 120 games. She is fifth on the all-time Division III service aces list with 361. Bates also boasts senior middle hitter Amanda Colby of Willimantic, Conn., the Maine Player of the Year and three-time All-NESCAC selection. Colby is ranked ninth in the nation in hitting percentage at .417 and tops the NESCAC in kills per game (4.37, 20th in the NCAA). Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Fennessey of Joplin, Mo., earned honorable mention All-NESCAC honors as well. Fennessey is one of two players ranked among the top 12 in the NESCAC in both kills (2.71) and digs (3.53) per game.