Women’s Hoops Knocked Out in NESCAC, Receives NCAA Bid


The Middlebury women’s basketball team earned its first bid to the NCAA tournament since 1998. The Panthers (19-7) will play John Carroll (22-6) on Friday March 1 in Center Valley, Pennsylvania at 5:00 p.m.

After a tight matchup on the road against Trinity for the NESCAC quarterfinals, the women’s team looked to ride the wave against Bowdoin in Brunswick. But the women were unsuccessful in their battle against an intimidating number one-seeded Maine team. 

Despite a competitive first quarter, the Panthers finished the contest trailing the Polar Bears by more than 20 points. Earlier in the month they narrowly missed the ‘dub’ by a close margin of four points, falling 58-62. This was their chance to avenge their NESCAC foes, but they fell short and fell hard. 

Some Middlebury players showed flashes of greatness on the court. Junior Kira Waldman was one of these women, putting up 17 points for her team. Fellow junior Maya Davis played a crucial role on defense, ripping 11 rebounds from Bowdoin hands. 

Though Middlebury fell in the NESCAC semifinals to an undefeated Bowdoin team, the squad has a new goal in sight — the NCAA tournament. The women will not take any moment of this final journey for granted, and plan on going for gold. 

Three other NESCAC teams made the NCAA tournament as well, including Tufts (NESCAC champions), Bowdoin and Amherst. 

Just a day later, however, the Tufts Jumbos shut down the undefeated Bowdoin — taking the crown and securing a bid into the NCAA tournament. Luckily for the Panthers, three more spots were awarded to NESCAC teams, recognizing the tough competition of the conference.

The Panthers found their way into the tournament for the first time in 21 years, since the 1997-1998 season. This huge feat exemplifies Middlebury’s motivation to make it far into the postseason. There is no doubt this team is ready to have fun while competing at the highest level.

The women will begin their road to the NCAA championship this Friday, March 1 against John Carroll in Center Valley, Pennsylvania at 5:00 p.m.

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