MEDFORD – After an undefeated NESCAC season, the Tufts University volleyball team earned the #1 seed in the league and will host the 2019 conference championship this weekend (Nov. 8-10).
Head coach Cora Thompson's Jumbos finished 10-0 in NESCAC for the third time in the last four seasons and the fourth time overall. Tufts is the #1 seed in the conference for the sixth time including 2008, 2009, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Tufts lost just two sets against NESCAC teams this year, winning 3-1 versus both Connecticut College and Wesleyan in their first two conference matches of the season on September 20-21. Since then, the team has won 24 straight sets in conference action.
The Jumbos (24-1) will play eighth-seed Hamilton College (10-13) in the quarterfinal round of NESCAC's Friday night at 5 pm at Cousens Gym. The winner of that match will move on to Saturday's semifinals where they will face the winner from the #4 seed Amherst College versus #5 seed Middlebury College quarterfinal. The championship match is scheduled for Sunday at noon.
Other quarterfinal matches on Friday will feature #7 Bates versus #2 Wesleyan at Chase Gym (5 pm) and #6 Williams against #3 Bowdoin at Cousens (7:30 pm). Semifinal game times are 1 pm and 3:30 pm on Saturday.
Despite their regular-season success in the league, Tufts has not won a NESCAC title since 1996. The Jumbos are a seven-time runner-up, most recently in 2016 and 2017. They have an even 20-20 mark all-time in the conference championship.
Bowdoin is the defending conference champion, defeating Amherst in four sets last season.
Tufts leads NESCAC this fall in kills per set (13.92), hitting percentage (.307) and assists per set (13.01). The Jumbos are second in the league with 1.92 blocks per set.
Tufts are the top-ranked team in the New England Women's Volleyball Associaton poll and are at #14 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III national poll.
This weekend's conference champion will earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament which runs November 15-17.