This Week in Tufts Athletics: May 8 - 14

MEDFORD – What an exciting week for Tufts Athletics it’s going to be as our spring teams continue post season play.  Men’s lacrosse hosts NCAA Tournament action on Wednesday and women’s tennis will host an NCAA Regional Friday through Sunday.

Baseball hits the road on the quest for a NESCAC Championship as the Jumbos travel up to Colby for the NESCAC Tournament Friday through Sunday.  The men’s and women’s crew teams will also compete for NESCAC titles this weekend as they are both at the National Invitational Rowing Championship at Lake Quinsigamond on Friday.  Men’s and women’s track and field will head to Williams again, this time for the All-New England Championships.

For links to video, live stats and all results, please visit: www.gotuftsjumbos.com.










Baseball on Hunt for NESCAC Championship



 

The baseball team will head up to Colby this weekend, looking to defend their NESCAC Championship.  Joining the Jumbos, who are the first seed in the east, will be Bates, the second seed in the East, Middlebury, the first seed in the West, and Amherst, the second seed from the West.  The tournament is a three-day, double-elimination tournament and begins Friday, with the conference winner crowned on Sunday.  The four teams will be playing for the conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The Jumbos will face off with Amherst in the first round of play.  They bring a 26-7-1 overall record into the tournament, and finished with a 9-3 mark in NESCAC East play.  Ranked No. 13 in the most recent d3baseball.com national poll, the Jumbos are the only NESCAC team in the national rankings.  The Jumbos have been dominant on the mound this season as senior Speros Varinos has a league-league eight wins along with a league-low 1.60 ERA.  Classmate Tim Superko is right behind him with six wins this year, which the third best in the league. Offensively sophomore Will Shackelford is second in the conference with a .405 batting average and junior Nick Falkson is fourth, hitting .394. Falkson is third in the league in RBIs with 34, while classmate Tommy O’Hara is right behind him with 35, the second most in the league.

First up for the Jumbos will be Amherst, a team they are playing in the first round for the fourth straight year.  The two teams are 5-5 versus each other in post-season play, with the most recent game resulting in a 5-4 Jumbo win last year. The Mammouths are 19-14 overall with an 8-4 mark in NESCAC West play. Most recently, they took two from Colby after dropping games to UMass-Boston and Bowdoin. Senior Yanni Thanopoulos is leading the offense with a .429 batting average and a team-high 37 RBI.  Those marks also are both leading the conference.  On the mound senior Jackson Volle has a team-leading five wins and a 2.74 ERA.

Friday’s other game features Bates and Middlebury.  Friday’s winners play in the winners bracket game on Saturday, and Saturday’s winner goes into Sunday needing just one win for a conference title.  All games will be play at Colby College.  

Women's Tennis Host NCAA Regional



 

The women’s tennis team has worked hard this year, and its paying off.  The Jumbos are ranked No. 6 in the country, just advanced to the NESCAC semifinals this past weekend for the first time since the 2010-11 season and have now been selected as a regional host for the NCAA Tournament which begins this Friday.  The Jumbos will host a six team regional with play starting Friday and concluding on Sunday. The Jumbos will welcome five top-notch programs to their campus this weekend, featuring No. 14 John Hopkins (17-5, 10-0 in Centennial Conference), Ithaca (13-7, 8-0 in Empire 8 Athletic Conference), Nichols (16-3, 8-0 in Commonwealth Coast Conference), No. 32 TCNJ (14-3, 6-0 in NJAC) and Baruch (11-5, 6-0 in CUNYAC).

The Jumbos received an at large bid into the NCAA Tournament after beating No. 12 Amherst in the NESCAC Quarterfinals and then falling to No. 4 Williams in the semifinals this past weekend.  They are making their 16th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 17 years.  They reached the third round of the tournament last year, downing Colby-Sawyer, 5-0, in the second round and then falling to NESCAC-rival Bowdoin in the third round of play.  Eleven players from the 2015-16 squad are back on the team this year, so the Jumbos have tournament experience.

Sophomore Mina Karamercan went 13-6 on the individual side this spring, including boasting a 10-5 mark at the top slot, while junior Lauren Louks posted a 12-7 mark in singles and an 11-8 record in doubles, operating out of the highly-competitive No. 1 and 2 slots.  The Jumbos senior captains were instrumental as well. Conner Calabro tallied a 14-3 record in singles action and a 10-7 mark on the doubles side, while Alexa Meltzer compiled a 12-4 mark in singles and a 2-2 showing in doubles.

Johns Hopkins won their 11th consecutive Centennial Conference Championship on Sunday, while Ithaca earned their 12th straight Empire 8 Athletic Conference title on Oct. 15. Nichols claimed their first conference championship since the 2010-11 season, besting Endicott, 5-0, in the title match of the Commonwealth Coast Conference on Oct. 24. TCNJ earned their 34th straight New Jersey Athletic Conference title on Sept. 17, while the Baruch has won back-to-back City University of New York Athletic Conference titles.

Both Tufts and Johns Hopkins have first round byes on Friday.  Ithaca will take on Nichols on Friday and TCNJ will play Baruch.  The winner of the Ithaca/Nichols match will take on the Jumbos on Saturday, while the TCNJ/Baruch winner will play Johns Hopkins on Saturday.  Saturdays winners play on Sunday for the regional final.

 








 


MLAX: Wednesday vs. Keene State at 4 pm
What you need to know: The men’s lacrosse team will begin their NCAA Tournament run this week.  The tenth-ranked Jumbos fell in the NESCAC semifinals this past weekend at Bates, but the Jumbos were one of four NESCAC teams selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament.  The Jumbos join NESCAC Champion Wesleyan, along with Bates and Amherst in NCAA Tournament play.  All four NESCAC teams are in the same part of the bracket, but all will play other teams in second round play on Wednesday.  The Jumbos will host Keene State for a 4 pm start on Bello Field. The Jumbos will rely on their playoff experience, as they are making their eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and their high scoring offense to help them make a tournament run.  The Jumbos and the Owls faced off earlier this year and the Jumbos came away with a 24-16 win.  The Owls won the Little East Conference title to punch their ticket into the tournament with a 28-11 win over UMass-Boston.  With a 14-3 record this year, Keene State has won their last 11 with the last setback coming to top-ranked Bates back in March.  Senior Rob Hart is leading the offense with 54 goals and 23 assists and junior Hunter Arnold is helping with 50 goals and 22 assists. Hart scored five times when the two teams faced off earlier this season.  The Jumbos have a 4-0 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  Should the Jumbos win, they would face the winner of the game between Wesleyan and New England College on Saturday.  If the Cardinals were to win that, Saturday’s game would be at Wesleyan and would be the third time the Jumbos and the Cardinals have squared off this season.

 
MTRACK & WTRACK: Friday and Saturday at All-New England Championships at Williams
What you need to know: The men’s and women’s track and field teams will head to Williams once again this spring.  This time for the New England Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships on Friday and Saturday.  Both Jumbo teams were at Williams this past weekend for the New England Division III Championships. The meet will feature Division I, II and III teams and both Jumbo teams will likely race those still hoping to hit marks that will help them qualify for the NCAA Championships later this May.  The men finished sixth overall and second in Division III at this race last year, and the women finished 23rd overall with only a few Jumbos competing.

 

WCREW: Friday at National Invitational Rowing Championships at Lake Quinsigamond at 8 am
What you need to know: The women’s rowing teams will head back to Lake Quinsigamond this weekend for the National Invitational Rowing Championships on Friday. The race is also used as the NESCAC Championship, and to determine the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA women’s rowing championship.  The NESCAC is strong in women’s rowing as the top three teams in the country are NESCAC teams in No. 1 Bates, No. 2 Wesleyan and No. 3 Williams. The Jumbos sit at No. 6 in the College Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing Coaches national poll and will look to improve upon their eighth place finish at this event last year. In addition to the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA championships, at large bid will be awarded and this weekend along with last weekend’s New England Rowing Championships will help the Jumbos earn one of those. Williams won this event last year as Bates finished second, Wesleyan was third and Trinity placed sixth in the grand final.  The Ephs have won 10 conference titles, and bates and Trinity have won the conference title two times each.  The Jumbos are on the hunt for their first ever NESCAC title.

 

MCREW: Friday at National Invitational Rowing Championships at Lake Quinsigamond at 8 am
What you need to know: The men’s rowing team will also head to Lake Quinsigamond this Friday to compete for a NESCAC title.  The Jumbos are racing in the National Invitational Rowing Championships, which the NESCAC also uses to crown a conference champion.  The Jumbos finished 11th overall at this race last year, but the novice eight finished second overall out of nine teams.  Williams won the NESCAC crown last year, finishing third overall at this race.  Wesleyan and Bates also placed in the top five at this race last year.  Williams has won eight NESCAC titles while Bates and Trinity are the only other teams to win a conference trophy in men’s rowing. The Jumbos have had significantly better results this spring and will look to keep that going into this weekend as they compete for a conference title.










 

 

Anthony Kardonsky, Sophomore, Men’s Track and Field

Sophomore Anthony Kardonsky set a pair of school records in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and was also part of the Jumbo 4x100-meter relay that also won and set a new Tufts mark this past weekend at the New England Division III Championships host by Williams College.  The Jumbos finished second, only behind New England Division III champion, MIT. Kardonsky ran a 10.77 in the 100-meter dash finals, finishing second behind Yaw Sekyere of Bowdoin who ran a 10.75.  The 10.77 broke a school mark from earlier this season.  Kardonsky then ran a 21.71 to win the 200-meters, which broke the school record held by Graham Beutler (21.80), which was set in 2013.

 

 

Natalia Kastenberg, Senior, Women’s Crew

Senior Natalia Kastenberg, the lone senior on the women’s crew varsity eight boat, sat in the stroke seat and helped the Jumbos to a fifth place finish at the New England Rowing Championships at Lake Quinsigamond this past weekend.  The Jumbos, who are ranked No. 6, in the most recent College Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing Coaches national poll finished behind No. 1 Bates, No. 2 Wesleyan, No. 3 Williams and No. 7 Wellesley.  The fifth place finish is one better than the Jumbos finished at this same event last year.
















The No. 10 men’s lacrosse team headed to Bates this past weekend to take on No. 8 Wesleyan in the NESCAC Semifinals on Saturday.  The Jumbos fell to the Cardinals, 17-12, but were awarded a bid to the NCAA Tournament and will host Keene State in Second Round play on Wednesday.

The No. 6 women’s tennis team opened up NESCAC tournament play with a 5-1 win over No. 12 Amherst on Friday afternoon, advancing to the tournament semifinals for the first time since the 2010-11 season.  The Jumbos then took on No. 4 Williams in the semifinals, but fell to the Ephs, 5-0.  The Jumbos received an at large bid into the NCAA Tournament and will host regional play this weekend on the Voute Courts.

The No. 13 baseball team started the week with a 13-4 set back at Eastern Connecticut State.  The Jumbos then had all week to get ready for a double-header with Middlebury on Sunday and the Panthers and the Jumbos split, as Middlebury took the first game, 4-0, but the Jumbos won the second, 6-1, behind senior Tim Superko’s sixth win of the season.

Sophomore Anthony Kardonsky set two school records and was part of the Jumbo 4x100-meter relay that broke another school record and junior Stefan Duvivier won the high jump as the No. 7 men’s track and field team finished second at the New England Division III Championships at Williams this past weekend.  The Jumbos scored 96 team points and finished second behind only MIT.

On the women’s track and field side the Jumbo 4x800-meter relay ran the second-fastest time in school history at the New England Division III Championships at Williams this past Saturday.  Freshmen Lauren Diaz, Julia Gake and Nicole Kerrigan along with senior co-captain Samantha Cox were part of the relay.  The Jumbos finished tied for tenth overall at the meet.

The men’s rowing team was at the New England Rowing Championships this past Saturday and the varsity eight, second varsity eight and novice eight all finaled. The novice eight was one of six teams to advance to the finals, but it was cancelled because of weather.  The second varsity eight finished fourth overall and the varsity eight placed sixth in the grand final.

The women’s crew team headed out to Lake Quinsigamond this past Saturday for the New England Rowing Championships.  But, because of rough conditions because of weather, only the first varsity eight and second varsity eight was able to race.  The Jumbos second varsity eight finished second in the grand final, while the varsity eight finished fifth in the grand final.