This Week in Tufts Athletics: May 1 - 7

MEDFORD – Nearly all teams at Tufts are in full championship season mode.  Men’s lacrosse heads to Bates for a NESCAC Semi Final match against Wesleyan on Saturday.  Men’s and women’s track head to Williams for the New England Division III Championships.  Women’s tennis is heading out to Williams as well for the NESCAC Championships. Men’s and women’s crew will be at Lake Quinsigamond for the New England Rowing Championships on Saturday.

Baseball had a Monday match up on the road before hosting Middlebury on Sunday for two games at Huskins to wrap up their regular season.  Softball wraps up their season with two against Wheaton at home on Tuesday.

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Women's Tennis to NESCAC Championships


The NESCAC is stacked this year for women’s tennis.  With all six teams in the NESCAC tournament this weekend ranked in the top 15 nationally, it’s guaranteed to be a competitive weekend out at Williams. The No. 6 Jumbos have drawn the third seed and joining them will be No. 2 Middlebury as the first seed, second-seeded and No. 4 Williams, No. 7 Wesleyan who is the fourth seed, No. 8 Bowdoin who is the fifth seed, and No. 12 Amherst who has drawn the sixth seed. The Jumbos will face off with sixth seeded Amherst, while Bowdoin and Wesleyan will also face off in opening round play.  The winners of those two matches will face off with Williams and Middlebury, who have byes as the top two seeds.

The Jumbos are 13-5 this season, and have beaten Amherst and Wesleyan but have fallen to Middlebury, Williams and Bowdoin this spring.  All matches have been close as the Jumbos beat Amherst, 5-4, and Wesleyan, 6-3.  They were edged by Bowdoin, 6-3, and Williams, 7-2, but Middlebury won, 9-0. The Jumbos have a solid line up this year, as the duo of junior Lauren Louks and sophomore Mina Karamercan have anchored them at No. 1 doubles.  Playing No. 2 doubles this year has been Tomo Iwasaki and Otiliia Popa.  Seniors Alexa Meltzer and Conner Calabro have played No. 3 doubles for the Jumbos.  Karamercan has taken the court at No. 1 singles this year, and even knocked off the top-ranked singles player in the country when the Jumbos took on Emory.  Louks has played second singles, with Iwasaki playing No. 3 and Wiley playing No. 4.  Rounding out the Jumbos lineup has been Meltzer and Calabro.

At last year’s NESCAC Tournament the Jumbos were edged in the first round by Amherst, 5-4.  But, after receiving a bid to the NCAA Tournament, they topped Colby-Sawyer in second round play and then fell to Bowdoin in the third round.  Karamercan and Louks received a berth into the NCAA Individual Singles and Doubles Championships last spring and earning All-American honors by finishing in the top eight.

Men's Lacrosse Looks For NESCAC Championship


The No. 10 men’s lacrosse team played the same team twice last week, splitting with the Bowdoin Polar Bears, but winning when it mattered.  The Jumbos wrapped up their regular season schedule with a loss at No. 20 Bowdoin on Wednesday evening.  But, then again on Saturday at Bowdoin in the NESCAC Quarterfinals the fifth-seeded Jumbos picked up a 12-11 win over fourth-seeded Bowdoin, advancing to the semi-finals.  The Jumbos will now head to Bates this weekend, taking on second-seeded and No. 8 Wesleyan on Saturday in the second semifinal game of the day.  The top-seeded Bobcats host sixth seeded Middlebury in the day’s first semifinal game.  Saturdays winners play on Sunday at noon for the conference championship.  The Jumbos are looking to win their eighth consecutive conference championship this weekend.

Wesleyan is coming off a 15-8 win over Williams in quarterfinal play this past weekend. The Cardinals and the Jumbos played just a few weeks ago, and Wesleyan snuck away with a 17-16 win, scoring the game-winning goal with just 19 seconds left on the clock.  The last two times the two teams have played the game has been decided by one goal, this year working in the Cardinals advantage, but last year the Jumbos won, 13-12 in regular season play. The Jumbos have the 14-10 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.   The Cardinals are 15-1 this year, with that lone loss being a season-opening, 15-14, setback to top-ranked Bates.  Junior Harry Stanton is leading the offense with 59 goals and 21 assists for a team-leading 80 points, which is also leading the conference this year. Classmate Taylor Ghesquiere has scored 34 times for the Cardinals and sophomore Carter Hawthorne has 32 goals and 38 assists this year. Senior Ted Bergman has started all 16 games in goal for the Cardinals and played nearly all the minutes there.  He has a 57.4 save percentage with a 8.66 goals against average. His save percentage is second in the conference, only behind the Jumbos’ Ben Schmerler’s 58.9 and his goals against average is the lowest in the conference.

The other semifinal game has top-seeded Bates taking on sixth-seeded Middlebury.  The Bobcats beat eighth-seeded Connecticut College on Saturday, 11-8.  Sixth-seeded Middlebury upset third-seed Amherst, 12-11, in the other quarterfinal game.  The Panthers and the Bobcats will face off at 12 pm on Saturday with the winner advancing the championship game on Sunday.  The two teams played earlier in April with Bates winning, 15-12.



BASEBALL: Monday at Eastern Connecticut State at 6 pm and Sunday vs. Middlebury at 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm
What you need to know: The No. 11 baseball team started their week with a trip to Eastern Connecticut on Monday night, but the Warriors came away with the win.  The Jumbos now have all week to get ready for Middlebury, who visits Medford on Sunday for two games, starting at 12:30 pm.  The Panthers are currently 16-13 overall with an 8-4 mark in NESCAC West play.  That 8-4 mark is identical to Amherst, but the Panthers won two of three when the two teams played, claiming the first seed in the west. The Panthers played Trinity last weekend, and split the Bantams (the Jumbos swept the Bantams), and they will face off with Bowdoin on Saturday before taking on the Jumbos on Sunday.  The Jumbos won both times when the two teams played last year, 5-1 and 9-0, and have the 16-9 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  The last time the Panthers beat the Jumbos was back during the 2013 season. Senior Jason Lock is leading the Panther offense with a .374 batting average and a team-leading 30 RBIs.  Sophomore Sam Graf is helping, hitting .343 and collecting 22 RBIs this year.  On the mound freshman Spencer Shores has a team-leading four wins with a 3.63 ERA and sophomore Conor Himstead has made 14 appearances this season and has a 1.76 ERA.

SOFTBALL: Tuesday vs. Wheaton at 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm
What you need to know: The softball team will wrap up their season on Tuesday with a twin bill against visiting Wheaton. The Lyons are also finishing their season on Tuesday as they were eliminated from the NEWMAC Tournament this past weekend with a 5-1 loss to WPI. The Lyons and the Jumbos were supposed to play last year, but weather got the best of the series, and the teams didn’t play.  The Jumbos won both times the year before when they played.  Coming into Tuesday the Lyons are 18-17 overall, most recently having gone 1-2 in NEWMAC Conference Tournament play. Senior Jessica Cochrane is leading the offense with a .352 batting average and classmate Mary DeMoura is hitting .330 with 14 RBIs.  Sophomore Emily Schlapak is hitting .271 but has a team-leading ten home runs and a team-leading 32 RBIs.  In the circle senior Danielle Cimino has a majority of the innings with 12 wins and a 2.28 ERA in 107.1 innings pitched.  Junior Allison Cox has picked up three wins and has a 3.91 ERA in 73.1 innings of work.

MTRACK & WTRACK: Friday and Saturday at New England Division III Championships at Williams
What you need to know:  The men’s and women’s track and field teams had big weekends last weekend, heading to Bowdoin for the NESCAC Championships.  The men finished second behind Williams and the women were sixth.  This weekend the Jumbos will be back in action for the New England Division III Championships at Williams.  For the men, in the most recent United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll that came out on April 25, the Jumbos were ranked tenth, and MIT was 25th with Williams having just dropped out of the rankings.  Regardless of what the rankings will now be, there will be some good competition between Williams, MIT and the Jumbos this weekend.  On the women’s end, the Jumbos will also be competing with MIT and Williams as the Ephs were ranked second in the most recent national poll and the Engineers were fifth.  Both teams raced their top runners and went all out for NESCACs last weekend, so this weekend could fall in any team’s favor, depending on who races in what events.  Events start at 3 pm on Friday and 10 am on Saturday.

MCREW & WCREW: Saturday at New England Rowing Championships at Lake Quinsigamond
What you need to know: It’s a big weekend for the men’s and women’s rowing teams.  The Jumbos will all head to Lake Quinsigamond on Saturday for the New England Rowing Championships.  The women are currently third in the College Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing Coaches national poll, just behind top-ranked Bates and second-ranked Wesleyan.  Right behind the Jumbos are No. 4 Williams, No. 6 Wellesley and No. 10 Colby. So, it’s a big weekend for the women and the competition is sure to be good.  Last year the Jumbos were among eight of the top ten teams in the country at the regatta and the Jumbos finished seventh out of 29 teams. The men were right in it last year too, as they finished 8th out of 29 teams at this race last year.



Nick Falkson, Junior, Baseball

Junior first baseman Nick Falkson continued his outstanding 2017 during this past week for the Jumbos.  In a three game series against Bates he was 6-for-9 (.667) with four walks, a double, a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.  He also went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run in a non-league win against Eastern Nazarene on Monday.  Four the four games, he was 7-for-11 with four RBIs and four runs.  In Saturday’s second game of a double-header against Bates, he capped Tufts’ weekend sweep with a two-run, walk-off home run giving the Jumbos the 6-43 win. On Friday in the series opener with the Jumbos trailing, 3-2, entering the bottom of the eighth, he walked and scored helping the Jumbos take a 4-3 win.



Brittany Bowman, Junior, Women’s Track and Field

Junior Brittany Bowman of the women’s track and field team won the 10,000 meter run at the 2017 New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship hosted by Bowdoin College this past Saturday.  Bowman’s winning time of 35:37.17 was more than a minute faster than runner-up Katherine Treanor of Amherst.  Running her first 10k race of the season, Bowman’s mark is ranked sixth nationally for Division III as of Saturday night at 8:30 pm. Bowman scored ten points for the Jumbos team with her first place finish.




The No. 11 baseball team picked up a three game sweep of Bates at home this past weekend, securing the first seed in the NESCAC East for the fourth consecutive season and ninth overall.  The Jumbos started with a 4-3 win in game one on Friday.  They then won, 9-1, and, 6-4, on Saturday, as junior Nick Falkson hit a walk-off two-run home run in the second game and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week for his offensive performance at the plate over the three game series.

The No. 10 men’s lacrosse team fell to No. 20 Bowdoin on Wednesday night on the road, 19-15, wrapping up their regular season schedule.  But the Jumbos won when it counted, traveling back up to Brunswick on Saturday and edging the Polar Bears, 12-11, in NESCAC Quarterfinal action on Saturday.  They now face off with No. 8 Wesleyan on Saturday in semi final play.

The softball team picked up two wins on Sunday on Senior Day at Spicer Field against Bates.  The Jumbos won the first game, 3-1, before picking up a five-inning, 14-1, win in game two.  Junior Raven Fournier had a solid week at the plate for the Jumbos, and was named NESCAC Player of the Week for her performance.

The men’s and women’s track and field teams headed to Bowdoin this past weekend for the NESCAC Championships.  On the men’s side, six different Jumbos won conference titles as the team finished second behind Williams.  For the women, junior Brittany Bowman winning the 10,000 meter run led the Jumbos to a sixth place finish at the meet.

The No. 6 women’s tennis team was on the road all week.  They started the week with a 9-0 win over Trinity on Tuesday.  On Saturday the Jumbos made the trip out west to No. 4 Williams, but the Ephs won, 7-2.

The men’s tennis team had a bus weekend.  The Jumbos started with a 6-3 win over Brandeis on Friday afternoon.  They then made the trip to Bowdoin on Saturday, but the Jumbos were edged by the Polar Bears, 5-4.

The women’s rowing team competed in lightweight events against MIT on the Charles River Saturday and won all three of their races. Both the first varsity, second varsity and novice boats all won against the Engineers on Saturday.

The coed sailing team grabbed the region’s final berth into the 2017 Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Eastern semi-finals by placing ninth at the New England Championship hosted by Boston College over the weekend.  The ICSA Eastern Semi-finals start May 30 in Charleston, South Carolina. There they will need to finish in the top nine to advance to the national finals which begin June 1.