Bell's 15 Kills and 15 Digs Not Enough as Volleyball Falls to Endicott, 3-1

MEDFORD – Junior Brigid Bell finished with a season-high 15 kills and a season-high 15 digs, but it wasn't enough as the Tufts volleyball team fell to visiting Endicott College, 3-1, on Tuesday night in Cousens Gym. 

Heather Holz finished with eight kills for the Jumbos Tuesday

With the loss the Jumbos fall to 6-3 overall this year.  Endicott improves to 7-5 with the win.  

The Jumbos grabbed an early lead in the first set, but the Gulls scored six straight points behind the serve of Colleen McAvoy to tie things at 13, and then take a one-point lead.  The two teams traded points, and the lead, and with things tied at 16 the Gulls got kills from Nicole Winkler and Emma Mancini.  After a Jumbo error, the Gulls were leading 19-16 and they held on to that lead for most of the rest of the set.  Down 24-20 the Jumbos made a comeback, taking advantage of a Gull error and then getting kills from Bell and junior co-captain Maddie Stewart to come within one, 24-23.  But, a kill from Alex Dippel gave the Gulls the 25-23 win in set one. 

Set two was all Jumbos as they grabbed an early lead, scoring four points off the serve of freshman Ariel Zedric and seven straight points off the serve of Bell to take a 13-3 lead.  They held on to that lead for the duration of the set, picking up the 25-13 win in set two to even the match at one. 

Things were close to start in the third set.  With the score locked at 11 the Gulls got kills from McAvoy and Remi Quesnelle, and after a Jumbo error, a kill from Mancini to take a 15-11 lead.  The Jumbos would come within one, 16-15, and then again later in the set, 21-20.  But, the Gulls held on for a 25-22 win in set three to take the 2-1 advantage in the match. 

The entire fourth set was a nail biter.  The Gulls took an early lead and were up, 10-6.  But, the Jumbos fought back and tied things at 14.  After that no team would lead the other by more than three points and the set was tied at 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26.  Locked at 26 the Gulls got a kill from Mancini and then a Jumbo error gave Endicott the win in set four for the match win. 

Bell finished with 15 kills and 15 digs to lead the Jumbos.  Senior captain Mackenzie Bright added 11 kills and junior Heather Holz finished with eight kills and a .533 hitting percentage.  Junior Christina Nwankpa and sophomore Jennifer Ryan each added seven kills, and Nwankpa finished with four blocks to Ryan's three.  Defensively, sophomore Sophia Acker finished with 17 digs and junior Rachel Furash helped with nine.  Furash tallied 36 assists, and Zedric finished with 16.  

For the Gulls Mancini was the offensive leader with 15 kills and Dippel added 11.  Quesnelle added nine kills and McAvoy finished with eight.  Defensively, Mackenzie Kennedy picked up 19 digs and Mancini added nine.  Zoey Gifford took care of the setting, finishing with 40 assists. 

The Jumbos are back in action on Friday night when they host NESCAC-rival Bowdoin for a 7 pm start.  Endicott plays again when they host Wheaton on Thursday for a 7 pm start.