Jumbos Block Out Williams in Three-Set NESCAC Volleyball Win

MEDFORD - The Tufts University women's volleyball team recorded 13 team blocks while earning a 3-0 win over Williams College in a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) match played at Cousens Gym on Saturday. The set scores were 25-18, 25-13, and 25-22.

Heather Holz went up for seven block assists in the match

The Jumbos (10-4, 5-0 NESCAC) received seven block assists from sophomore Heather Holz, along with a solo block and five assists from sophomore Christina Nwankpa and five block assists by junior Maddie Stewart. Williams (5-8, 1-4) was led by eight kills from junior Roxi Corbeil.

In their first-set victory, the Jumbos opened a 9-3 lead early on a kill by sophomore Brigid Bell. Tufts extended the margin to 13-6 on a Williams error and 17-9 with a block by Bell and Holz while cruising to a 1-0 lead. Bell's four kills and Holz's three block assists led Tufts in the first. Sophomore Erin Denham had set-highs with five kills and six digs for the Ephs.

The Jumbos steamrolled Williams in the second set, breaking open an early 8-7 lead with four straight points. A kill by Mackenzie Bright and a shared block by Bright and Nwankpa were part of it. Tufts built its lead to 21-11 on a kill by Holz and soon took a 2-0 advantage. Her three kills and four block assists led the hosts for the middle set. Sophomore Daiana Takashima had three digs in the second set for the visitors.

The third set was the most competitive of the match. The Tufts lead was just 22-20 late after Corbeil had a kill for Williams. However, Nwankpa sealed the win for the Jumbos by scoring two late points on kills. Her five kills paced the Jumbos in the third, while Corbeil had six kills for Williams.

Bell's nine kills overall led the Jumbos, while Nwankpa had eight. Sophomore Rachel Furash finished with 16 assists and nine digs while junior Angela Yu added 10 assists and 11 digs. 

Sophomore Alex Newton, who had nine third-set digs for Williams, finished with 12, as did junior Ally Ostrow. Newton also had 21 assists in the three sets. Sophomore Natalie Albright was in on three block assists for the Ephs.

The Jumbos play Rivier in mid-week, non-league action on Wednesay. The Ephs play a non-league game against SUNY New Paltz on Tuesday.