Ahrens Leads Volleyball to 3-0 Blanking of Bates Friday Night

Katie Zheng helped the Jumbos with three aces and 21 assists.

MEDFORD – Behind 13 kills from senior co-captain Elizabeth Ahrens the Tufts volleyball team downed Bates, 3-0, and maintained their unblemished NESCAC record on Friday night in Cousens Gym.  Ahrens finished the evening with 13 kills in 15 attempts for a remarkable .867 hitting percentage and added five digs and two blocks to her performance.

With the win the Jumbos improve to 16-1 overall and 8-0 in NESCAC play.  The Bobcats fall to 6-10 this season with a 3-4 mark in conference play.

The first set started close, as the Jumbos and Bobcats traded points early.  But, with things locked at six, the Jumbos scored ten points behind the serve of freshman Brigid Bell to take a 16-6 lead.  During that run Bell and sophomore Mackenzie Bright each turned in two kills and Bell had two aces.  The Jumbos would maintain that lead and pick up a 25-10 win in set one.

The second set was much closer as the Bobcats took the lead and were able to maintain that for nearly half the set.  With things locked at 15 the Jumbos got a kill from freshman Christina Nwankpa and a Bates error gave them a two point lead 17-15. They would hang on to that lead to pick up the 25-19 win in set two.  

Once again it was the visitors that jumped out to a lead in the third set, but they were not able to hold on to it.  With things tied at nine sophomore Katie Zheng notched two service aces and the Jumbos took the lead and held onto it to secure the 25-14 win in set three.

The Jumbos finished the three set match with a .409 hitting percentage and Ahrens was the kill leader with 13 kills.  Bell and Bright each added seven kills and senior McKenzie Humann added six to the win.  The Jumbos had nine service aces on the evening, including three from Zheng and two each from Bell and junior co-captain Alex Garrett. Bell added 10 digs to her evening, and freshman Kelly Klimo tallied eight.  Zheng and classmate Angela Yu ran the offense and Zheng finished with 21 assists while Yu had 19.  

Chandler McGrath was the offensive leader for the Bobcats with 11 kills.  Gabi Eustache led Bates defensively with 12 digs.  Jacqueline Forney took care of the setting, finishing the evening with 22 assists.  

The Bobcats stay on the road as they travel to Bowdoin for a 1 pm match up with the Polar Bears on Saturday.  They will also face off with Emerson at Bowdoin at 3 pm on Saturday.  The Jumbos stay at home and host Colby at 12 pm and follow that with a 5 pm match against Gordon on Saturday.