MEDFORD – Tufts University volleyball junior Mackenzie Bright and sophomore Kelly Klimo were named to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference First Team and Coach Cora Thompson was named Coach of the Year, as announced by the league Wednesday.
Klimo earned All-Conference honors for the second year in a row. Last year as a freshman, she was named to the Second Team and became Tufts' first freshman All-Conference honoree since 2011. This is Bright's first time being recognized. There was a total of seven players named to the First Team. Tufts is one of two schools to have multiple players earn the honor. Wesleyan's Nicole Hilton was named NESCAC Player of the Year.
Klimo has added an impressive sophomore campaign to her outstanding rookie year. She led the Jumbos for the second year in a row with 4.7 digs per set. Her 451 total digs rank fifth in the conference and her 27 service aces put her fourth on the team. Klimo had a season-high 32 digs in Tufts' NESCAC quarterfinal 3-1 win over Bates. She had a season-high five service aces in the season-opening 3-0 win over Clark.
Bright leads the team in both kills (289) and kills per set (2.78). Her total kills put her fifth in NESCAC. She helped out on the defensive side as well with 53 digs and coming in at fourth on the team with 33 block assists. She tied a career-high with 18 kills in a 3-2 win over Amherst on Oct. 6. She had double-digit kills in 15 matches throughout the season.
Thompson has been named Coach of the Year for the second year in a row and the sixth time overall during her time at Tufts. She led the team to the one seed in the NESCAC Tournament for the second conescutive season. The Jumbos are 22-6 on the year and a perfect 10-0 in regular season conference play. It was the second year in a row they went undefeated in the league. The team made it to the NESCAC Championship game before falling to Wesleyan, 3-1.
Head coach Cora Thompson's team travels to Johnson & Wales this Friday to take part in an NCAA Regional. Tufts faces UMass-Boston in the first round. The Jumbos won an early season match-up between the teams, 3-0.
Written by Curtis Stoychoff, Athletic Communications Intern