Hartford, Conn., Nov. 3, 2010 – The Trinity College volleyball team, which posted its best regular-season record since 2006 at 16-7 and finished in seventh place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) at 5-5, has qualified for the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Bantams, seeded No. 7 in the tourney field, enter the post-season on a five-match winning streak. Trinity, coached by Jen Bowman (7th season), will play the No. 2-seeded Middlebury College Panthers (21-5, 8-2) in the quarterfinal round of the league tourney on Fri., Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. at top-seeded Amherst. The quarterfinal, semifinal, and final round games will all take place at Amherst from Nov. 5-7.
The winner of Trinity's quarterfinal match will play the winner of the 8 p.m. match on Friday between No. 3-seeded Bowdoin (18-10, 7-3) and No. 6-seeded Williams (16-12, 6-4). The other 5 p.m. match features No. 8-seeded Wesleyan (10-12, 3-7) against Amherst (23-2, 9-1) and No. 4-seeded Tufts (19-9, 7-3) faces No. 5-seeded Connecticut College (19-6, 7-3) in the other 8 p.m. match. The winner of the NESCAC Championship Tournament will determine the league's automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Trinity, which is attempting to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2005, defeated Middlebury, 3-2, in their regular-season matchup on Oct. 16, also at Amherst. Middlebury, which hasn't reached the NESCAC Final Four since 2004, is currently ranked No. 3 in the New England region, while Amherst is No. 1, Tufts is No. 5, Connecticut College is No. 6, Bowdoin is No. 7, Williams is No. 10, and Trinity is No. 11.
Trinity opened the regular season's final weekend with a 3-0 win against Colby that clinched post-season play for the Bantams. Senior tri-captain RS Kristen Anderson (West Haven, Conn.) racked up 27 total attacks, 10 digs, five assists, and two aces, while sophomore OH Danielle Isaman (West Hartford, Conn.) and first-year OH Hannah Brickley (Melrose, Mass.) combined for 26 kills, and junior S Jen Low (San Francisco, Calif.) collected 28 assists and nine digs. Anderson again led the Bantams in their 3-1 triumph over Bates to close the regular campaign, finishing with 12 kills, 17 digs and four aces. Isaman added 14 kills and Brickley had nine kills, 24 assists, and four service aces, while Low totaled 39 assists, 12 digs, and four blocks.
The Bantams lead the NESCAC in assists with 11.80 per set (1,015), and rank third in kills with 12.32 per set (1,052), while Anderson tops the league in service aces with 0.59 per set (51). Junior tri-captain L Sarah Blagden (Charleston, S.C) is second in the league in digs with 6.17 per set (518, 14th in nation), and has topped 30 or more digs in a match four times. She is the lone Bantam to earn NESCAC Player of the Week honors this fall. Low is third in the league in assists with 9.95 per set (816), and three different Bantams rank among the top ten in the conference in kills. Isaman averages 3.65 kills per set (310), Brickley averages 2.94 kills per set (253), and Anderson averages 2.84 per set (244) to rank fifth, eighth, and 10th in the NESCAC, respectively. Isaman also leads the Bantams in attacks with 823 for a .241 hitting percentage, while Anderson has a .221 hitting percentage with 266 digs, and Brickley has a .203 hitting percentage with 259 digs. Junior MH Courtney Chaloff (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) tops the Bantams with 55 blocks and classmate Kelly O'Brien (Pelham, N.Y.) has 50 blocks.