|Alex Garrett turned in 14 digs and three service aces on Friday night|
MEDFORD – Behind 19 combined kills from senior McKenzie Humann and sophomore Mackenzie Bright, the first-seeded Tufts volleyball team knocked off eighth-seeded Connecticut College in a NESCAC Quarterfinal match in Cousens Gym on Friday night.
With the win the Jumbos move to 23-2 this season and advance to play in tomorrow's semifinals against another quarterfinal winner. The Camels see their season come to an end with a final record of 11-12.
The Jumbos jumped out to an early lead in the first set with five straight points behind the serve of junior co-captain Alex Garrett. But, the Camels got right back in it and would tie the set at nine before the Jumbos took the lead again. Again behind the serve of Garrett, the Jumbos scored five points to take a 20-12 lead that they held on to for the duration of the set to pick up a 25-15 win.
Once again the Jumbos took a lead in the second set, this time with six straight points behind the serve of sophomore Angela Yu. The deficit proved to be too much for the Camels, who were not able to score more than two points in a row for the rest of the set, and the Jumbos picked up a 25-11 win in set two.
The Camels hit their stride in the third set, as they jumped out to the early lead and were dominating the Jumbos early. At one point the visitors led by as many as ten, 19-9. The Jumbos scored four straight points behind the serve of senior co-captain Elizabeth Ahrens, but they weren't able to take the lead back, and fell in the third set, 25-17.
It was all Jumbos in the fourth set as they jumped out to an early lead and held onto it. Freshman Brigid Bell served the Jumbos to 16 consecutive points to take the lead from 9-4 to a 25-4 win in the third set.
Bright finished with ten kills for the Jumbos while Humann added nine and freshman Maddie Stewart and Bell each added seven. Defensively the Jumbos were led by 14 digs from Garrett, but Yu and freshman Kelly Klimo each added ten. Yu took care of the setting and finished with 29 assists. The Jumbos tallied 12 service aces as a team over the four sets with Garrett and Ahrens each turning in three.
For the Camels it was Sam Hunter that led the offensive efforts with 12 kills while Ella Johnson added ten. Hunter also led the defensive efforts with 15 digs and Katia Elisman and Caroline Branigan each added eight. Elisman ran the offense for the Camels, and finished with 30 assists on the day.
The Jumbos will be back in action on Saturday with semifinal play in Cousens Gym. Middlebury won the other early quarterfinal match. The late quarterfinal matches pitted Wesleyan against Amherst and Williams against Bowdoin.