MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — Bowdoin rallied from a 4-1 deficit to take a thrilling 5-4 win against Middlebury in the regional finals of an NCAA Regional in Vermont on Sunday.
It will be the second NCAA quarterfinal appearance for Bowdoin, who also reached the round of 8 in 2008. The Panthers finish their season with a record of 15-4.
Doubles play was tight throughout, with Middlebury emerging with a 2-1 lead. Brittney Faber and Leah Kepping trailed 3-0, before battling back with an 8-5 win against Kellen Alberstone and Emma Lewis.
Bowdoin evened the match at No. 3 singles, with an 8-6 win in a back and forth contest. Bowdoin’s Kate Winingham and Emily Lombardi led Katie Paradies and Victoria Aiello 3-0 and then found themselves trailing 5-4. The duo battled back and came away with the 8-6 victory.
The final doubles contest saw Middlebury leading most of the way, including 8-7 late. Bowdoin’s Emma Chow and Chantalle Lavertu came back to tie the match at 8-8 forcing a tie-breaker. Lok Sze Leung and Anna Burke emerged with a 7-5 victory tie-breaker.
Leung made it a 3-1 lead at No. 1 singles, topping Alberstone 6-2, 6-2. The Panthers took a 4-1 advantage when Katie Paradies defeated Howard 6-3, 6-4 in the No. 6 spot.
Bowdoin jumped back into the match at No. 2 singles when Winingham topped Aiello 6-2, 7-5. The Polar Bears kept coming, making it a 4-3 match when Lavertu outlasted Kepping 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 at No. 3. Just No. 4 and No. 5 singles remained, as they both headed into the third sets.
Bowdoin jumped out to early leads in both sets, sealing the match simultaneously with a pair of victories. Lombardi was a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 winner against Burke at No. 5, while Lewis topped Faber 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the No. 4 spot.