Volleyball Completes First NESCAC Weekend With Win Over Colby Saturday Afternoon

WATERVILLE, Maine – The Tufts volleyball team closed out their first NESCAC weekend with a win over Colby on the road on Saturday afternoon.  Junior co-captain Maddie Stewart and sophomore Jennifer Ryan both had double-digit kills to lead the Jumbos. 

Jennifer Ryan turned in a career-high ten kills against Colby

With the win the Jumbos are now 6-2 overall and 2-0 in NESCAC play.  The Mules fall to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in NESCAC games.  

The Jumbos started on a hot streak, scoring six points off the serve of Rachel Furash to open the first set. Down 10-3, the Mules scored three straight points with kills from Paige Hanssen and Julia Hutchings and thanks to a Jumbo service error they came within five, 10-5.  After the two teams traded points the Jumbos scored five points off the serve of freshman Cate Desler to take a 17-7 lead and they held on to that lead for a 25-11 win in set one.  

It was the Mules that jumped out to a good start in the second set, taking an early 8-2 lead over the Jumbos. The Mules would lead for the first half of the second set.  Down 14-10 the Jumbos got a kill from senior co-captain Mackenzie Bright.  After a Colby kill from Natalie Simonton, the Jumbos got a kill from Stewart, followed by a double block from Desler and junior Heather Holz and an ace from sophomore Sophia Acker to come within one, 15-14. After trading points, a kill from Bright tied things at 18.  An ace from Holz put the Jumbos ahead, and then after a Colby timeout, the Jumbos got two kills from Bright and another from Ryan to take a 22-18 lead.  They held on to that lead for a 25-22 win in set two.  

Tufts grabbed the lead early in the third set.  After Colby scored the first point of the set the Jumbos scored the next four behind the serve of senior Katie Zheng to take a 4-1 lead.  They would hold on to that lead for the duration of the third set, picking up a 25-15 win in set three to win the match, 3-0.  

Stewart finished with 11 kills on 20 attempts with no errors for a .550 hitting percentage. Ryan had ten kills in 15 attempts with only one error for a .600 hitting percentage.  Bright added eight kills in 14 attempts with only one error for a .500 hitting percentage.  Delser added seven kills and nine digs and junior Christina Nwankpa tallied five kills. Acker collected 12 digs and junior Rachel Furash added nine.  Furash and freshman Ariel Zedric split the setting, finishing with 18 and 20 assists, respectively.  

For the Mules, Elizabeth Middlebrook and Paige Hanssen finished with four kills each.  Nicole Petherbridge added three kills.  Erin Maidman led the defensive efforts with 12 digs. Katie Devine and Molly Manuel ran the offense, finishing with eight and six assists, respectively.  

The Jumbos will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Endicott for a 7 pm start.  Colby plays again when they travel to Saint Joseph's on Wednesday for a 7 pm start.