This Week in Tufts Athletics: April 24 - 30

MEDFORD – It’s crazy, but it’s playoff time for some spring teams this week!  Men’s and women’s track and field head to Bowdoin for the NESCAC Championships this Saturday.  Men’s and women’s lacrosse have their final regular season game on Wednesday and then begin NESCAC Tournament play this weekend.

Baseball hosts Bates for a weekend series after two road games this week.  Softball is scheduled to play two mid-week double headers before hosting Bates for Senior Day on Sunday.  Men’s and women’s tennis hit the road for two NESCAC matches each this week.  Women’s crew heads to take on the MIT Lightweights on Saturday and the coed sailing team will compete in the New England Dinghy Championships this weekend at Boston College.

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Baseball Hosts Pivotal Series With Bates


The baseball team could have a busy week.  Or they can have all week to prepare for a three-game series with Bates, who currently sits in first place in the NESCAC East.  The Jumbos have a Wednesday contest at Endicott and a Thursday game with Eastern Nazarene, before hosting the Bobcats for a three game series this weekend. Bates currently sits in first place in the NESCAC East standings with a 7-2 conference record and the Jumbos are right behind them at 6-3.  Bowdoin is in third place with a 4-5 mark.  So, the series between the Bobcats and the Jumbos will determine who will claim first place in the East standings, and with Bowdoin playing a three game series at Colby this weekend, they are very much still in the mix for a spot in the tournament. Bates beat Bowdoin earlier this year, so if the Jumbos beat Bates all three times and Bowdoin beat Colby all three times the Polar Bears would still be out of the tournament as they would lose the tie breaker with the Bobcats.  But, if the Bobcats were to beat the Jumbos all three times and the Polar Bears beat Colby all three games, Bowdoin would sneak their way into the tournament as the two seed from the East.  So, its an important weekend for the Jumbos.

First up though, will either be Endicott or Eastern Nazarene.  The Gulls are 17-15 this year, most recently taking two from Gordon on Monday.  Senior Mike Kochiss is leading the offense with a .419 batting average and has a team-high 25 RBIs this season.  Juniors Nick Berno and Michael Casciano are hitting .336 and .316, respectively, to help the Gulls.  On the mound sophomore Kevin Gould has a team-high five wins in seven starts and a 1.10 ERA. The Jumbos and the Gulls did not play last year, and the last time the two teams did face off was back during the 2007 season when they played on their spring break trip in North Carolina.  Endicott won, 7-4.

Eastern Nazarene is up on Thursday for the Jumbos, and they are 11-17-2 this year, most recently splitting a double header with Wentworth this past Monday. The Lions and the Jumbos played for the first time in program history (dating back to 1999) last year, and the Jumbos won, 8-1.  Freshman Steven Pesce is leading the offense, hitting .378 for the Lions with a team-leading 20 RBIs and sophomore Connor Simpson is helping with a .354 batting average this season, adding 13 stolen bases to the year.  On the mound senior Cameron Fiorentino and junior Alex Way have both won four games, and Fiorentino has an era of 2.72 with Way’s being 3.53.

The Jumbos and the Bobcats start their three game series on Friday with a 3 pm start in Medford. The Bobcats are 13-8 overall this year, and this past weekend suffered their first two NESCAC East losses, falling two out of three times at Trinity.  They then rebounded and topped Plymouth State on Monday.  Freshman Will Sylvia is leading the Bobcat offense with a .308 average through 16 games.  Senior John Dinucci is hitting .297 and freshmen Kyle Carter and Jack Arend both have a team-leading 12 RBIs. Sophomore Justin Foley and senior Anthony Telesca have both won three games for the Bobcats on the mound as Foley has an ERA of 3.15 and Telesca has an ERA of 3.30.  The Jumbos won all three times they played the Bobcats last year, but two of those wins were in extra innings as they won 3-2 in eight innings and 6-5 in 12 innings.  The Jumbos have a 41-10 advantage in the series with the Bobcats, dating back to 2000.


Track and Field to NESCAC Championship

The men’s and women’s track and field teams head to Bowdoin this weekend to begin championship season with the NESCAC Championship.  The men will be looking to take back the title from Williams after the Ephs won last year breaking the Jumbos three-year streak of conference titles.  The women will be looking to break the Ephs three-year title stint, and bring their first conference title back to Medford since 2013 when they knocked off the Ephs.

The men have a bunch of top times in the conference and are in a good position to make a run for the conference title.  Senior Blake Coolidge has the conference’s top time in the 100 meters with a 10.81, and he is third in the 200 meters with a time of 21.91.  Classmate Nick Usoff has done a little bit of everything for the Jumbos this year.  He is currently fourth with a time of 22.04 in the 200 meters, and second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.88.  Sophomore Josh Etkind has the top time in the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.46 and also is second in the triple jump.  Junior Andrew DiMaiti is tied with Jimmy Martinez for the top time in the conference in the 400 meters with a time of 48.54.  He also has the top time in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.47. Senior Tim Nichols is dominant in the distance events, as he has the top time in the 5000 meters with a time of 14:28.96, more than 15 seconds better than the second place time, and the top time  in the 10000 meters with a time of 29:37.09.  Classmate Luke O’Connor is fifth in the 5000 meters (14:48.55) and has the conference’s top time in the 3000 steeplechase with a time of 9:03.24.  Sophomore Colin Raposo is fifth in the 1500 meters with a time of 3:56.32.  The Jumbos are in good shape in the relay events, as they are first in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 42.05 and second in the 4x400 meter relay with a time of 3:19.52.  Junior Stefan Duvivier is first in the high jump with a 6’6” mark. Senior Ife Adebayo is third in the hammer throw with a 160’4” and sophomore Henry Hintermeister is second in the javelin throw with a 193’4”.

In the most recent United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll the Jumbos were ranked No. 16 and Williams was No. 22 and those are the only two NESCAC teams in the top 25.  The Jumbos finished first at the New England Division III Indoor Championship this past February, topping both second-place Williams and third-place MIT.

On the women’s side, the Jumbos have also posted some top times this spring.  Junior Annalisa DeBari is eighth in the 100 meters with a time of 12.74 and third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.75.  Freshman Julia Gake is sixth in the 400 meters with a time of 59:03.  Senior Samantha Cox has the tenth best time in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:43.88.  Junior Brittany Bowman has the second best time in the conference in the 5000 meters with a time of 17:01.27.  Senior Lindsay Atkeson has a time of 11:20.21 in the 3000 steeplechase, which is the third best time in the conference.  Sophomore Sydney Ladner has the sixth best mark in the pole vault with a 10’2”.  Junior Jen Sherwill is dominating a few field events, as she is sixth in the shot put with a 38’2” and first in the discus throw with a mark of 133’7”.  Freshman Julia Kissel is third in the javelin with a 130’2” during her rookie season.

At the New England Division III Indoor Championship this past February the Jumbos finished tied for third behind first-place MIT and second-place Williams.  The Jumbos were tied with Middlebury and Bates.  So, one this weekend should be a competitive and exciting one!


MLAX: Wednesday at Bowdoin at 7 pm and Saturday in NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals vs. Bowdoin at TBA
What you need to know:  The men’s lacrosse team has a big week ahead of them.  The Jumbos are ninth in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association national poll and will take on No. 19 Bowdoin on Wednesday evening.  The Jumbos and the Polar Bears both know they are going to play each other in the NESCAC Quarterfinals on Saturday, but on Wednesday they will play for hosting rights.  Wednesday’s winner will earn the No. 4 seed and will host Wednesday loser, and the No. 5 seed, on Saturday in NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinal action.  Last year when these two teams played they were also playing for tournament seeding rights, it was just the No. 1 seed that was on the line.  The Jumbos will be looking to stop a three-game skid, and knocking off the Polar Bears and earning hosting rights would do just that.  Bowdoin is 9-5 this season, having gone 3-3 in their last six games with losses to top-ranked Bates (13-12), Keene State and No. 7 Wesleyan.  Junior Brett Kujala is leading the Polar Bear offense with 34 goals per game while classmate Matthew Crowell has scored 23 times and sophomore Tim Bulens had added 20 scores. Junior Shawn Daly has a team-leading 42 points coming from 14 goals and 28 assists. In goal senior Peter Mumford has played a majority of the time, owning a 50.5 save percentage and an 11.06 goals against average. The Jumbos won, 20-10, when the two teams played last year, and they have the 14-7 advantage in the series with the Polar Bears, dating back to 1999.

WLAX: Wednesday vs. Bowdoin at 7 pm and Saturday in NESCAC Tournament Quarterfinals vs. TBA at TBA
What you need to know:  The women’s lacrosse team has an important week ahead as well.  On Wednesday the Jumbos host Bowdoin for a 7 pm start and will be playing for a higher seed in the NESCAC Tournament which begins on Saturday.  The Jumbos currently sit in seventh place in the conference ranks, right behind sixth-place Bowdoin.  Wesleyan is in fifth place, and things at the top of the conference are very interesting.  Hamilton has played all ten games and has an 8-2 record.  Tied in second place are Colby, Middlebury and Trinity, all with 7-2 marks.  All three teams have games left, and with the potential of a four-way tie for first place with all four teams having 8-2 marks, things will come down to head-to-head play.  Middlebury plays Williams on Wednesday and they have lost to Colby and beaten Trinity and Hamilton.  Trinity plays eighth-place Amherst, and the Bantams have lost to Hamilton and Middlebury, but topped Colby.  Colby, who plays Bates on Wednesday, has beaten Middlebury and lost to Hamilton and Trinity.  So, if all three teams win on Wednesday, Hamilton should earn the first seed, with Colby being the second seed, Middlebury third and Trinity fourth.  If the Jumbos are the seventh seed, they will travel to No. 2 Colby on Saturday.  If they beat Bowdoin to take over the No. 6 seed, they will travel to Middlebury to take on the Panthers on Saturday.  But, first up for the Jumbos are the Polar Bears, who are 10-4 this year.  They have lost two of their last three, including set backs to Colby and Wesleyan.  Senior Kelsey Gallagher is the offensive leader with 29 goals and 18 assists.  Junior Hannah Hirschfeld has scored 36 times and rookie Kara Finnerty has tallied 24 goals and 12 assists.  Junior Kayli Weiss has made all 14 starts in goal for the Polar Bears, and has a 46.4 save percentage and a 9.73 goals against average.  The Jumbos won, 17-8, when the two teams played last year, but it’s the Polar Bears with the 12-6 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  The Jumbos fell to both Middlebury and Colby this year, but the Colby game was an extremely close one, as the Jumbos were edged, 10-9.  Middlebury beat the Jumbos 15-6.

SOFTBALL: Wednesday vs. Endicott at 3/5 pm and Sunday vs. Bates at 12/2 pm
What you need to know:  The softball team had a busy week last week, playing seven games on the road and winning four of the seven.  The Jumbos will be at home this week, with some things up in the air because of weather.  They are scheduled to play two with Endicott on Wednesday, but that could change because of rain.  The Jumbos will host Bates on Sunday for Senior Day at Spicer Field and the two games with the Bobcats will wrap up the Jumbos NESCAC East portion of their schedule.  They still need one Bowdoin loss this weekend to make the NESCAC Tournament.  But, first up will be Endicott.  The Gulls are 20-14 most recently taking two from Eastern Nazarene.  Junior Emily Sharpe is hitting .463 for the Gulls while sophomore Olivia Odermatt is hitting .385 and sophomore Jamie Hopgood has a team-leading 24 RBIs. On the mound for the Gulls, sophomore Laura Somervill has the most starts and innings pitched and has a 2.81 ERA while freshman Michaela Hamill is right behind her with a 2.74 ERA.  The Jumbos won, 15-3 and 12-6, when the two teams played last year.  After the midweek the Jumbos will get ready to host Bates on Sunday for a double header to wrap up their NESCAC schedule.  The Bobcats and Jumbos played one earlier this year and the Jumbos won, 2-1.  Since then the Bobcats have put together a 9-12 record, most recently falling in two out of three to Colby.  Sophomore Andrea Russo is hitting .440 for the Bobcats and senior Maddie Inlow has a .373 batting average and a team-leading 17 RBIs. On the mound, freshman Kirsten Pelletier has a 2.42 ERA and a team-leading five wins for the Bobcats.


MTENNIS: Friday at Brandeis at 3 pm and Saturday at Bowdoin at 3 pm
What you need to know: The No. 20 men’s tennis team has one last week before the NESCAC Championship at Williams begins the first weekend in May.  The Jumbos will take on Brandeis on Friday and will then travel to Bowdoin to take on the fourth-ranked Polar Bears on Saturday to wrap up regular season play.  First up will be the Judges, who are 12-7 overall having just finished play in the UAA Tournament.  The Judges lost to WashU but then topped NYU and Case Western Reserve in tournament play.  The Jumbos narrowly edged the Judges, 5-4, when the two teams played last year.  After the Judges, the Jumbos will turn their attention back to the NESCAC as they travel to defending national-champion and fourth-ranked Bowdoin on Saturday.  The Polar Bears are 14-2 this year with losses to No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (5-4) and No. 1 Middlebury (6-3) earlier this month.  The Jumbos were narrowly edged by the Polar Bears, 5-4, last year when the two teams played. 

WTENNIS: Tuesday at Trinity at 3:30 pm and Saturday at Williams at 12 pm
What you need to know:  The No. 8 women’s tennis team also has one last week before NESCAC Tournament play begins and the Jumbos will be busy getting two last NESCAC matches in this week.  On Tuesday the women travel to Trinity for a 3:30 pm start with the Bantams.  Then on Saturday the Jumbos will travel out to No. 4 ranked Williams to try to knock off the Ephs.  First up will be Trinity, who is 6-6 this year and have lost four of their last five.  The Bantams have recently fallen to No. 3 Middlebury, No. 6 Wesleyan, Bates and No. 19 Brandeis.  The Jumbos won, 9-0, when they faced off with the Bantams last year.  After the midweek contest the Jumbos will get ready to take on No. 4 Williams on Saturday.  The Ephs are 11-4 this season with those losses coming to No. 1 Emory (5-4), Division I Georgetown, No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6-3) and No. 3 Middlebury (6-3). The Jumbos and the Ephs played at the end of the regular season last year as well, and the Ephs picked up a 7-2 win over the Jumbos.

WCREW: Saturday at MIT Lightweights at Charles River Basin at 9 am
What you need to know:  The women’s crew team has had a successful spring so far and they will look to take that success into this weekend as they take on the MIT Lightweights on Saturday at the Charles River Basin.  The Engineers Lightweights have been on the water since the end of March when they opened the spring season with a win over Simmons.  This April they have raced in the Knecht Cup in West Windsor, N.J finished seventh in the grand final.  They also raced in the Muri Cup/Beanpot as the first varsity boat finished third. The Jumbos didn’t race the MIT Lightweights last year.

CSAILING: Saturday and Sunday at New England Dinghy Championships at Boston College at 10:30 am
What you need to know: The coed sailing team won last weekend, in a shortened Admiral’s Cup regatta at Kings Point.  Only three races in each division were sailed due to a lack of wind.  But, the Jumbos will look to keep that winning momentum into this week as they travel to Boston College for the New England Dinghy Championships on Saturday and Sunday.  The Jumbos finished sixth at the New England Dinghy Championships last year, earning a bid to nationals in San Diego.




Luke O’Connor, Senior, Men’s Track and Field

At Princeton University’s Larry Ellis Invitational on Friday, senior Luke O’Connor ran the fastest time in the nation for the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a 9:03.24 finish.  The time was more than seven seconds faster than the previous No. 1 mark of 9:10.53 by Muhlenberg senior Jaryd Flank from April 14.  This career-best time for O’Connor was fifth overall and second among collegiate runners in the race. O’Connor was named the NESCAC Performer of the Week, becoming the fourth Jumbo to earn the award in the five weeks its been handed out this spring.



Jamie Stevens, Freshman, Softball

Freshman Jamie Stevens had a monster week at the plate for the Jumbos, hitting .550 over the course of seven games on the road.  She was 2-for2 and 1-for-2 in games against Williams on Monday.  On Wednesday against MIT in the first game she was 1-for-3 with three RBIs, and 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the second game as the Jumbos won both.  In a pivotal three game series against Bowdoin on the road this weekend, Stevens went 2-for-3 including her third homerun of the season, with two RBIs and two runs scored in the first game on Sunday.  She finished with a 3-for-4 performance with a run scored in the second win of the day for the Jumbos.  Overall, Stevens hit .550 during the week (11-for-20), with eight RBIs and six runs scored.



The baseball team had a busy week at home, playing five games during a spread out week.  On Monday the Jumbos split with UMass-Dartmouth, winning 10-2, but falling to the Corsairs, 5-1.  The Jumbos then took two of three from Bowdoin in the weekend series.  On Saturday the Jumbos won, 6-1, and 6-5, as senior Speros Varinos remained perfect on the mound for the Jumbos this year with his seventh win of the season.  The Jumbos lost the season finale on Sunday, 3-2.

The softball team was also busy this week, playing seven games on the road.  The week started with a Monday trip out to Williams where the Jumbos were not able to pick up a win.  They then traveled to MIT on Wednesday and took two from the Engineers.  On Saturday the Jumbos fell to Bowdoin, 4-3, in the series opener.  But, they rebounded on Sunday and took two from the Polar Bears to win the series.

The women’s lacrosse team picked up a win on the road this week, downing Bates, 13-10, on Tuesday night up in Lewiston.  Freshman Emily Games led the Jumbos with six goals, including four in a row in the second half to help the Jumbos pull away from the Bobcats.  The Jumbos then fell to Wesleyan at home on Saturday afternoon, 15-8.

Senior Luke O’Connor ran the nation’s fastest time among Division III athletes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday night at Princeton’s Larry Ellis Invitational.  Then on Saturday, six different jumbos won races at the Trinity College Invitational, including senior Tim Nichols winning the 5,000 meters, sophomore Anthony Kardonsky winning the 100-meter dash, freshman Matt D’Anieri in the 800 and sophomore Josh Etkind and senior tri-captain Nick Usoff in both hurdles events.

Junior Jennifer Sherwill led the women’s outdoor track and field team at the Trinity College Invitational on Saturday, winning the discus throw.  The meet was the last of the regular season for the Jumbos, as they begin championship season next Saturday, and because of this rested many of their team members.

The No. 8 women’s tennis team picked up two wins this weekend.  The Jumbos started the week with a 5-4 win over No. 12 Amherst on Wednesday.  They then fell to No. 7 Bowdoin, 6-3, on Friday, but rebounded and topped Hamilton 9-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The No. 20 men’s tennis team was also busy this past week.  The Jumbos opened the week with a 6-3 win over Bates on Thursday.  They then took on Hamilton and Coast Guard on Saturday and blanked both teams, 9-0.

The men’s golf team wrapped up their spring schedule with a third place finish out of 17 teams at the Wildcat Spring Invitational.  Senior captain Owen Elliott earned medalist honors for the third time during the 2016-17 season.

The women’s sailing team picked up an eighth place finish at the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association Team Championship / Reed Trophy on Saturday and Sunday.  The Jumbos were one of ten teams in the region to qualify for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Semifinals coming up May 23-24 at the College of Charleston.

The coed sailing team won a drastically shortened Admirals Cup regatta hosted by Kings Point this weekend.  Only three races were held in each of the three divisions due to a lack of wind.  Tufts’ A dingy with senior skipper Scott Barbano and sophomore crew Ian Morgan won their division, as did senior Alp Rodopman in the single-handed C division.

For the third consecutive season the women’s rowing first varsity eight won the Bernie Brown Cup on Lake Quinsigamond on Sunday.  The Jumbos covered the 2,000-meter course in 6:44.70 to edge host and runner-up WPI, which cross the finish line in 6:46.82.  William Smith was third, Clark fourth and Skidmore fifth.

The men’s rowing second varsity eight won its Baker Cup race against WPI on Sunday on Lake Quinsigamond.  Tufts also had a win in the novice eight.