Volleyball Tops Clark in Season Opener in Cousens Wednesday Night

McKenzie Humann was a force at the net with four blocks for the Jumbos

MEDFORD -  Behind 13 kills from both senior co-captain Elizabeth Ahrens and freshman Brigid Bell the Tufts volleyball team overcame a first set loss to come back and beat Clark, 3-1, in Cousens Gym on Wednesday night.

The match was the season opener for the Jumbos, as they are now 1-0 overall.  Clark falls to 3-3 with the loss.  

It took a while for the Jumbos to get going and the Cougars took advantage of that quickly.  After taking a 3-0 lead in the first set the Jumbos got on the board with a kill from Bell.  But, the Cougars responded with eight straight points to take an 11-2 lead early in the set.  The Jumbos would stay in it, but the deficit was too much to overcome and the Cougars took the first set, 25-21.  

It was the Jumbos that took an early lead in the second set with four straight points behind the serve of sophomore Angela Yu.  But, the Cougars were never out of it and quickly pulled within one.  The two teams would trade the lead with the set tied six more times before the Jumbos were able to squeak away with the 25-22 win.  

The third set would need extra points to determine a winner.  Another nail biter saw both teams trade the lead back and forth during the set.  With the Jumbos down 26-25 a kill by Bell evened the score at 26.  Thanks to a Cougar error, the Jumbos were ahead by one, 27-26, when senior McKenzie Humann turned in a kill to give the Jumbos the 28-26 win.

Both the Cougars and the Jumbos stayed true to fashion in the fourth set and things were close early on as the two teams traded the lead.  The Jumbos were able to take the lead with the match tied at nine and didn't look back, finishing the set with a 25-22 win to take the 3-1 match win.

Ahrens and Bell were the offensive leaders for the Jumbos with the 13 kills each.  Freshman Maddie Stewart and Humann both turned in six kills.  Humman, Ahrens and Stewart all added four blocks as well to help the Jumbos.  Freshman Kelly Klimo finished with a team-high 16 digs, while junior co-captain Alex Garrett added 14 of her own and sophomore Angela Yu helped with 11.  Yu and Zheng split the setting and finished with 24 and 15 assists, respectively.

For the Cougars it was Marina Ramos that led the offense, finishing with a match-high 15 kills while Ana Mercado added 14 to the Cougars efforts.  Ramos also added 22 digs and Savannah Sanford helped with 11 digs.  Rachel Webb took care of the setting for the Cougars, finishing with 40 assists.  

The Cougars will be back in action on Friday when they take on Westfield State in the Trinity Invitational at 5 pm.  The Jumbos will play in the MIT Invitational this weekend, and open play at 4:30 pm on Friday with a match against Endicott.