This Week in Tufts Athletics: March 16 - 23

MEDFORD – What an exciting time in Tufts Athletics.  Junior Mitchell Black won an NCAA Championship in the 800 this past weekend at the NCAA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships while women’s basketball advanced to their second consecutive “Final Four” by knocking off undefeated and defending national champion FDU-Florham.

The baseball and softball teams both have busy schedules while on their spring break trips, while men’s and women’s lacrosse both have non conference action this week before returning to conference play this weekend.  Men’s and women’s tennis are both on the west coast for their spring break trips with a few matches on the schedule this week.

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Women’s Basketball: Friday vs. Thomas More at 5 pm at Grand Rapids, Michigan in NCAA “Final Four”

The Tufts women’s basketball team earned a return trip to the NCAA Championship “Final Four” with a 58-52 victory over defending national champion FDU-Florham in the quarterfinals this past Saturday on their home court.  The Jumbos were led by 14 points and four assists from first-year guard Lauren Dillon, 13 points and 10 rebounds from senior tri-captain Hayley Kanner and sophomore Michela North’s 10 points and 11 rebounds.  The Jumbos out-scored the Devils, 30-22, in the second half to take the victory.

Tufts will travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan next week to play in the national semi-finals.  They will take on Thomas More on Friday, March 20 at 5:00 pm, while George Fox and Montclair State will play in the other semi-final game at 7:00 pm.  The national championship will be played on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 pm between the two winners of the semi-final games.

Thomas More is currently undefeated with a 31-0 mark after most recently topping then also undefeated St. Thomas to advance to the “Final Four.”  The Saints are currently ranked first in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the poll.  Junior Sydney Moss is averaging 24.4 points per game for the Saints while rookie Nikki Kiernan is turning in 11.0 points per game and classmate Abby Owings is averaging 10.9 points per game. Moss is also the rebounding leader with 7.2 per game as Kiernan pulls down 6.2 per game. The Saints are averaging 86.3 points per game while holding their opponents to an average of 52.4 points per game.

The Jumbos have won their last 22 games and own a 30-1 record this season.  After topping Hamilton in the first round of the NESCAC tournament, the Jumbos then topped Williams and Bowdoin to win their second consecutive conference championship.  The women opened up the NCAA tournament with a win over Pine Manor, followed by wins over St. John Fisher and Eastern Connecticut to advance to the “Elite Eight” where the Jumbos topped FDU-Florham.  North is averaging 14.0 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Jumbos, while Kanner is adding 13.0 points per game and 6.1 boards per contest.  

Men’s Lacrosse: Tuesday at Stevenson at 7 pm and Saturday vs. Colby at 1 pm

The men’s lacrosse team had a relatively quiet week, with a lone game against Colby on Saturday that the Jumbos were able to win, 11-9.  Up on the docket this week with spring break in full effect in Medford will be a Tuesday, March 17 meeting at Stevenson at 7:00 pm.  After that the Jumbos will get back to NESCAC action when they host Trinity on Saturday, March 21 at 1:00 pm.

This past Saturday, the Jumbos held off a second-half rally from Colby to secure an 11-9 win.  In a game where both goalies had fine outings, the two teams combined for 110shots, 68 groundballs and 62 turnovers.  Junoir Alex Salazar picked up the win for the Jumbos, making 15 saves.  Classmate Jake Gillespie was the scoring leader for the Jumbos with two goals, while nine other Jumbos scored one goal each.

First up for the Jumbos this week will be a tough match-up with Stevenson.  The Mustangs opened up their season with a loss (17-10) to RIT, who is ranked second in the most recent United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) poll.  Since then the Mustangs have won their last three.  Through four games junior Pat Candon has nine goals, while senior Billy Burgoyne has scored eight times and classmates Colin Dabney and Paul Danko have netted seven each.  Junior Ben Richards has spent a majority of the time between the pipes for the Mustangs, and currently owns a 7.52 goals against average.  The Jumbos and the Mustangs are locked, 2-2, in the series.  Both of the Jumbos wins have come by single goals with the last one being a 7-6 win in 2013.  The Mustangs won last year when the two teams faced off, 15-9.

After the contest at Stevenson the Jumbos will turn their focus back to conference play with Trinity paying a visit to Medford on Saturday, March 21. The Bantams are off to a 1-4 start this season with the lone win coming over Western Connecticut.  In conference play the Bantams have fallen to Colby, Williams and Bates.  All three of the Bantams conference losses have been decided by three goals or less. Senior Matthew Hauck is leading the scoring efforts with 13 goals this season, as classmate James O’Connell and junior Ryan DeSimone have both scored seven times. Time in net has been split by seniors Riley Cahill and Makar Zaverucha, with Zaverucha playing a little bit more and having a 8.55 goals against average. The Jumbos won when the two teams faced off last year, and own the advantage in the series, 12-4.  The last Bantam win came back in 2012 when the Jumbos lost in overtime during the regular season but later went on to beat the Bantams in the NCAA tournament.

Women’s Lacrosse: Tuesday vs. Buffalo State at Union at 1 pm and Saturday at Trinity at 12 pm

The Tufts women’s lacrosse team wrapped up a busy lacrosse week before spring break.  They had three games last week, and picked up two convincing wins, but picked up their first loss of the season to move to 4-1.  Once again the Jumbos climbed up the national rankings, as they sit in fourth in the most recent IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association) rankings.  Up on the docket this week for the Jumbos is a Tuesday, March 17 game against Buffalo State at Union College at 1:00 pm, followed by a meeting with NESCAC-rival Trinity on Saturday, March 21 in Hartford at 12:00 pm.

This past week the Jumbos had a busy schedule and their work cut out for them.  The women opened up play for the week topping Wheaton at home 11-8.  Sophomore Kate Mackin scored three times for the Jumbos as junior Brigid Bowser, junior tri-captain Caroline Ross and rookie Calie Nowak each added two goals for the Jumbos.  Senior Rachel Gallimore picked up the win in goal with nine saves. After the Wheaton win the Jumbos stayed at home and picked up a 14-2 win over visiting Keene State on Wednesday evening.  Mackin was once again the scoring leader with four goals, as Ross scored three times.  Gallimore started in goal and played the first half, making two saves.  First-year Hannah Wiltshire and junior Emily Morton split the second half to help the Jumbos secure the convincing win.  On Saturday, the Jumbos suffered their first loss of the season against Colby.  The #11 Mules outscored the #4 Jumbos 7-1 in the second half to earn the win.  Senior tri-captain Kali DiGate and Bowser both scored twice for Tufts.  Gallimore played the entire game between the pipes, and stopped seven.

This week the Jumbos have two contests on the docket, both on the road.  First up will be a Tuesday face off with Buffalo State at Union College. The Bengals are 1-2 this season, with a win over Albright and losses to Unversity of Scranton and St. John Fisher.  Sarah Lorusso has 11 goals to lead the offense, while Alanna Herne has scored ten times.  Elyse Stark has played a majority of the minutes in goal for the Bengals and currently is averaging 14.26 goals against through three contests. The Jumbos and the Begals have faced off twice (2006 and 2010) in program history, dating back to 1999, with the Jumbos winning both times.

After the midweek contest, the Jumbos will turn their focus to Trinity, who they travel to take on on Saturday.  Trinity is currently ranked #8 in the most recent IWLCA poll.  The Bantams were 19-3 last season, and ended up falling to Salisbury in the national championship (9-6).  The Bantams are off to a (4-1) start this season.  They opened their 2015 campaign with a one-goal loss to Colby, but since then have picked up wins over Springfield, Williams, Wheaton and Bates. The Bantams have contests against Dickinson and Washington College before taking on the Jumbos on Saturday. Junior Martha Griffin has scored 20 times for the Bantams this season, while sophomore Karly Simpson has added 10 goals.  The Bantams also return senior Caroline Hayes, an All-NESAC First Team selection last year in addition to junior Ashley Stewart on defense who was also an All-NESCAC First Team selection last season. The Bantams won last year when the two teams faced off, and hold the advantage in the series, 10-7, dating back to 1999.

Baseball: Seven Games on Spring Break Trip

The men’s baseball team opened up their 2015 season last week in the warmth of the south.  The Jumbos are off to a 3-1 start, with eight games on the schedule this week before they head back to Medford.

The Jumbos opened up the season with a 10 inning loss to Castleton, 6-4, but then came back to top Castleton in the second game, 3-0, behind a great performance by Tim Superko who gave up two hits and struck out eight in eight innings of work.  For his performance he was awarded NESCAC Pitcher of the week honors. The Jumbos ten topped St. Vincent 12-0 and Guilford 20-7.  Cody McCallum was 2 for 3 with four RBI’s against St. Vincent and three for five with five RBI against Guilford.

The following is the Jumbos schedule for the week:  

Tuesday vs. Averett at 1:30 pm and vs. Greensboro at 7 pm
Wednesday vs. Methosdist at 4 pm
Friday at Lynchburg at 2 pm
Saturday vs. St. Joseph at 10 am and at Apprentice at 4 pm
Sunday at Virginia Wesleyan at 12 pm

Averett if off to an 11-6 start this year, and Timothy Coston is hitting .476 while Nic Futrell owns a .403 average with a team-leading 20 RBI’s. Joshua Hatcher is 3-0 in three starts this year with a 2.63 ERA.  After Averett, the Jumbos will take on Greensboro, who is 8-8 this season, but have lost seven of their last ten. Senior Jordan Powell is hitting .397 with 19 RBI’s and junior J.P. Lisk averages .386.  Methodist is next up for the Jumbos, and they are 12-7 so far this season.  Matt Jack is the leader for Methodist and Stephen Nails has a team-leading 17 RBI’s.

Lynchburg is up after Methodist.  Junior Drew Taylor is hitting .444 while sophomore Jonathan Munn owns a .362 average with a team-leading 11 RBI’s.  Following Lynchburg, the Jumbos will take on St. Joseph on Saturday. The Hawks are 4-9 but don’t have anyone hitting more than .326.  Stefan Kancylarz and Matt Maul are leading the Hawks with .326 averages and John Brue has at team-leading ten RBI’s. Also on Saturday, the Jumbos will take on Apprentice. The Builders are 8-6 this spring, and were supposed to take on the Jumbos earlier this week but the game was cancelled. Mark Labrador owns a .511 average with 21 RBI’s to lead the Builders. The Jumbos will wrap up their trip with a Sunday contest against Virginia Wesleyan on Sunday. The Marlins are 5-3 with C.J. Lindsay hitting .448.

The contest with the Marlins wraps up a 12-game spring break trip for the Jumbos.  They will return back to Medford and hope to open up at home on Wednesday March 25th against Mass. Maritime with their first conference weekend right after when Bowdoin comes to Medford for one on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28.

Softball: Eight Games on Spring Break Trip

The Tufts softball team opened up their 2015 campaign down in Florida and played six of their 14 scheduled games so far.  The Jumbos are off to a 6-0 start and senior tri-captain Allyson Fournier threw her 11th career no-hitter in the first game of the Jumbo’s season. Senior tri-captains Michelle Cooprider and Gracie Marshall are leading the Jumbos offense, as Cooprider is hitting .667 and Marshall owns a .625 average.

The Jumbos have eight games remaining on their spring trip and their schedule is as follows:

Tuesday vs. Wisconsin-Stout at 1 pm and vs. Anderson at 3 pm
Thursday vs. Plymouth State at 11 am and vs. Washington and Jefferson at 3 pm
Friday vs. Wisconsin-River Falls at 1 pm and vs. Utica at 3 pm
Saturday vs. MCLA at 9 am and vs. Wellesley at 11 am

For results, please visit:

Men’s Tennis: Monday vs. Denison at 7 pm and Wednesday at Pomona-Pitzer at 1 pm and Sunday at Cal Lutheran at 4 pm

The men’s tennis team opened their season on Monday with a 7 pm contest against Denison out in California.  The Jumbos will play three matches in California, as they take on Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran while out west.

With a strong group of returning players, the Jumbos are hoping to make the NESCAC Tournament this year, and even hopefully the NCAA tournament.  Complimenting a strong and talented junior class that includes Nik Telkedzhiev, Jay Glickman and Rob Jacobson, is a large group of freshmen hoping to help the Jumbos to a successful 2015.

On Wednesday, March 18 the Jumbos will take on Pomona-Pitzer.  Pomona-Pitzer is 10-3 this year, with lone losses to Bates, Point Loma and Claremont Mudd-Scripps.  The Sagehens were ranked 9th in the most recent ITA National Rankings. Until the recent loss to Claremont Mudd Scripps, who is currently ranked second in the national rankings, the Sagehens had a seven match winning streak.

After the Pomona match, the Jumbos will take on Cal Lutheran on Sunday, March 22. The Kingsmen are 4-6 this semester with a current four-match losing streak.  But those losses have come to some top ranked teams, as the Kingsmen have fallen to UC Santa Cruz, University of Mary Washington, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Trinity (Texas).

Women’s Tennis: Tuesday vs. Denison at 1 pm and Thursday at LaVerne at 1 pm and Friday at Claremont Mudd Scripps at 1 pm and Saturday at Redlands at 2 pm

The women’s tennis team is also on the west coast and will open their season on Tuesday, March 17 with a 1:00 pm match against Denison.  They will then take on LaVerne on Thursday, March 19 at 1 pm, Claremont Mudd Scripps on Friday, March 20 at 1 pm and Redlands on Saturday, March 21 before returning home to Medford.

The Big Red of Denison opened their season with a loss to Chicago, but since have topped Kalamazoo and Whittier this season.  Their next contest is scheduled against the Jumbos.  Denison is ranked 28th in the ITA rankings, while the Jumbos sit in 17th.  LaVerne will challenge the Jumbos on Thursday and it should be a great match as both teams are tied for 17th in the national rankings. The Leopards are 6-0 so far this season with wins over Occidental, George Fox, Linfield, Brandeis, Cal Lutheran and Christopher Newport.  They will take on Vassar and Whitman before they face off with the Jumbos.

Claremont-Mudd-Scipps will be one of the tougher matches for the Jumbos as the Athenas are fifth in the national rankings and have a 8-1 record so far this season.  The lone loss came to second ranked Emory, 5-4, this past Friday. The Athenas will take on fellow NESAC rival Trinity before facing off with the Jumbos this week.  The last match of the trip for the Jumbos will be Redlands on Saturday.  The Bulldogs are 6-4 with the losses coming to Pomona-Pitzer, Washington (Mo.), Wesleyan and Sewanee.  They are ranked 22nd in the national rankings.