HARTFORD, Conn. – Senior Maddie Stewart turned in 14 kills and four blocks and sophomore Cate Desler finished with ten kills and 11 digs as the No. 14 Tufts women's volleyball team continued their strong start to the season, topping Trinity 3-0 on the road on Saturday afternoon. The Jumbos have not dropped a set in seven straight matches.
|Junior Jennifer Ryan helped the Jumbo offense with seven kills Saturday|
Tufts improves to 16-0 overall and 6-0 in NESCAC play with the win. Trinity falls to 7-10 overall and 0-6 in NESCAC matches.
The first set was the closest of the day as the Jumbos jumped out to an early lead but the Bantams hung right with them. With a slight 14-13 lead the Jumbos got kills from senior Heather Holz and Desler to move their lead to three, 16-13. After the two teams traded points the Jumbos scored four straight points off the serve of Holz to take a 22-16 lead. The Bantams answered with three straight points of their own thanks to a kill from Ally Conde and a couple of Jumbo errors. But, Tufts was able to hold on for the 25-20 win in the first set.
Once again Tufts took a lead in the second set. Down 11-7 the Bantams scored five points off the serve of Hareena Johnson, including three aces from Johnson, to take a 12-11 lead. But, the Jumbos answered with two kills from senior Christina Nwankpa and a couple of Bantam errors to put them ahead 15-12. After kills from Molly Bernstein and Colette Scheffers brought the Bantams within one, 15-14, the Jumbos grew their lead and were able to pick up the 25-18 win in set two.
Tufts worked to an 8-2 lead early in the third set. But, like they had all day the Bantams fought themselves back into the match and even took a 13-12 lead. A kill from senior Brigid Bell tied things at 13 for the Jumbos and then they took a 15-13 lead. After a kill from the Bantam's Ally Conde, the Jumbos scored ten straight points off the serve of Bell to win the set 25-14.
Stewart finished with 14 kills and only three errors for a .550 kill percentage. She also added four blocks to her day. Desler tallied ten kills and 11 digs while Nwankpa added nine kills and five blocks. Bell finished with eight kills and 11 digs and junior Jennifery Ryan collected seven kills. Defensively, freshman Stephanie Lee, Desler and Bell all finished with 11 digs each. Senior Rachel Furash and sophomore Ariel Zedric ran the offense, tallying 26 and 16 assists, respectively.
Scheffers was the offensive leader for the Bantams with six kills. Johnson, Bernstein and Conde all added four kills each. Scheffers tallied a team-high nine digs, while Paola Matos added six and Jessica Yang and Natalia Ortiz each turned in five. Emma McGraw and Yang took care of the setting, and McGraw collected 11 assists while Yang finished with seven.
The Jumbos are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Brandeis for a 7 pm start. Trinity plays again on Thursday with a trip to Wesleyan for a 7 pm match.
Action photo credit Zach Webster