NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Tufts volleyball team opened up their final weekend of conference play with a win over Connecticut College on Friday evening on the road. The Jumbos were led by 11 kills each from sophomore Brigid Bell and junior Mackenzie Bright.
|Brigid Bell finished with a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs|
The Jumbos won 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 25-16 and with the win improve to 19-5 overall and 9-0 in NESCAC play. Connecticut College is now 13-9 overall and 2-7 in conference matches. The Jumbos now play Wesleyan tomorrow afternoon with the winner claiming first place in the conference and conference tournament hosting rights.
The Jumbos took an early lead in the first set, but the Camels were able to make a comeback and they tied the set at nine. The Camels then took a slight lead, before the Jumbos were able to tie things at 11 and then take a lead of their own. They would hold on to that until the Camels scored six straight points behind the serve of Belinda Mullally to tie things at 19. The two teams traded points and things would be tied three more times. With the score locked at 22 the Jumbos got kills from sophomores Christina Nwankpa and Maddie Stewart, and then a kill from Bright sealed the 25-22 win for the Jumbos in the first set.
In set two the Jumbos took an early lead and held onto that led for the duration of the set, picking up the 25-20 win for the 2-0 advantage in the match. But, the Camels did not give up, and took an early lead in set three. They held on to that until the Jumbos were able to lock the score at 17. The two teams traded points and the lead, and with things tied at 22 the Camels took advantage of a Jumbo error and got kills from Jenny Kellogg and Sam Hunter to pick up a 25-22 win in set three and stay alive.
But, Tufts took an early lead in the fourth set and cruised to a 25-16 win for the 3-1 match win.
Bright and Bell were the offensive leaders and Nwankpa and Stewart each added eight kils as well. Sophomore Heather Holz finished with five kills and five blocks for the Jumbos, and Stewart added three blocks to her eight kills. Bell totaled ten digs for the double-double. Sophomore Kelly Klimo was the defensive leader with 18 digs and sophomore Rachel Furash added 11 of her own. Klimo also added three service aces to the win. Furash and junior Angela Yu took care of the setting, finishing with 24 and 21 assists, respectively.
Hunter was the offensive leader for the Camels, finishing with 12 kills as Maddie Rust added ten to the evening. Kellogg, Emma Hewlin and Mullally all added seven kills each. Defensively Elle Kass totaled 16 digs, as Kellogg added 14 and Hunter turned in 13. Rust picked up three blocks and Grace McGee ran the offense, finishing with 39 assists.
Both teams wrap up their regular seasons tomorrow. The Jumbos play at Wesleyan at 1 pm and the Camels host Bowdoin for a 2:30 pm start.