BRUNSWICK – The volleyball emergence continues at Bowdoin College.

Not only are the Polar Bears on a school record-setting season, but Maine high school volleyball can boast that one of its own is contributing to the Bowdoin run.

Hillary Cederna, 19, a junior from Cumberland, is a top-notch passer, as well as ranking fourth in kills (119) for the Polar Bears (18-1), ranked 25th in the national Division III poll.

“She is my first (Mainer),” said Coach Karen Corey, in her sixth year at Bowdoin. “It kills me how few (high school) teams we have (in Maine).”

Corey hails from Illinois, where volleyball “was the premier sport for girls to play.”

But the sport is growing in Maine, with more schools adding teams. Cederna is a product of the powerhouse Greely program. Still, she had more learning to do in college.

“It was eye-opening,” Cederna said. “We had kids from California, and their technique and fundamentals were unreal.”

Cederna, 5-foot-7, emerged from an injury-marred freshman year (rotator cuff) to playing the front line last season, to playing both the front and back line this year.

“She plays a full six rotations,” Corey said. “She is one of our strongest passers.

“Hillary is very quick, explosive, a great jumper, a powerful attacker – one of the most powerful in the gym.”

Corey is quick to praise all her players, who have compiled a 17-match winning streak, and an 8-0 record in the NESCAC.

Bowdoin has two more league matches left. One more win ensures the Polar Bears of the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage in the NESCAC tournament Nov. 4 and 6. Winning the tournament would guarantee Bowdoin its first NCAA tournament bid.

Cederna, by the way, is not running track in college, although she was a state champion sprinter and jumper at Greely. After the rotator cuff problems her freshman year, Cederna focused on getting healthy and preparing for volleyball.

She is also busy with school. She’s an economics/math double major, with a minor in education.

ST. JOSEPH’S VOLLEYBALL is putting together a fine season. After Tuesday’s non-league loss to the University of New England, the Monks are 15-8, 6-4 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

Four Mainers play for the Monks, although only one played high school volleyball in the state – sophomore Holly Bannister (Greely). Junior Kiah Begley (Berwick) and sophomore Brooke Dyer (Lebanon) both played at St. Thomas Aquinas High in New Hampshire. Junior Sarah Hawkes (Pownal) attended Freeport High, which did not have a team. She played club volleyball.

Hawkes and Begley are two of the best players ever to put on the St. Joseph uniform. Hawks has already set career records in kills (732), digs (768) and total blocks (186), and is one solo block away from tying that record (123). She is currently out with a sprained ankle.

Begley, the team’s setter, holds the school career record for assists with 1,944 – and counting.

MOLLY CARL of York became the first University of Southern Maine women’s runner in 12 years to win the State of Maine Cross Country Championship, winning the 5K race at Pineland Farms in 19:01. It was a close race. Colby junior Berol Dewdner finished second in 19:03. Bowdoin sophomore Madelina Rizzo was third, in 19:06. Bowdoin junior Olivia MacKenzie of Buxton placed fourth (19:12). Colby won the team title.

Bowdoin sophomore Coby Horowitz of Stow, Mass., defended his state title, winning the 5-mile race in 25:53. Bates won the team title.

BOWDOIN FIELD HOCKEY moved up to No. 2 in the national Division III poll. The Polar Bears are 11-0.

The University of New England (13-1) dropped out of the poll after experiencing its first loss last week, 5-0 at Endicott.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:
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Twitter: ClearTheBases