New England Top-Ranked Roger Williams Edges Tufts in Volleyball

Hayley Hopper had a match high 16 kills

MEDFORD - Tufts took New England's top-ranked volleyball team to five sets before Roger Williams University won its 16th straight match with a 3-2 win Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.

In the final game of the tripleheader in which Wesleyan dropped matches to both Tufts and Roger Williams, the Hawks stayed undefeated on the season. It was only the third time RWU had played five sets with the first two coming against Wellesley and NESCAC member Connecticut College.

After dropping the first set 25-22, the Jumbos (9-4) came back and evened the match at 1-1 with a 25-21 win. It was the fourth set of the day decided by four points. Junior Hayley Hopper (Carlsbad, CA) paced the Jumbos with six of her match-high 16 kills.  The last of the six ties was at 20-20 and Hopper had two kills to gave Tufts a 23-21 lead.

In the Jumbos' fourth-set win they led wire-to-wire to even the match at 2-2. Their biggest lead was eight points with the last time at 14-6 on a kill by junior hitter Jessica Ingrum (Highlands Ranch, CO).  Hopper added five kills and setter Kyra Baum (Boca Raton, FL) had two kills and nine assists in the 25-19 win.

Tufts took a 2-0 lead in the fifth set on two attack errors by the Hawks. Roger Williams came back and took the lead for good at 4-3 on a kill by Elizabeth Flaherty (Sloatsburg, NY), her ninth of the match. Andrea Gorman (Wilbraham, MA) closed out the match with her 16th kill to give the Hawks a 15-7 win.

Gorman hit .455 for the match with only one attack error. She added 10 digs and two aces for the Hawks. Kristen Boyer (Ephrata, PA) had 15 kills and 13 digs. Krystie Luczynski (Kensington, CT) had 12 kills and five blocks.

Roger Williams came into the match ranked first in the New England Women's Volleyball poll and 25th in the nation in the Division 3 AVCA poll. Tufts is ranked sixth in New England. The win was the sixth for Commonwealth Coast Conference favorite Roger Williams over a NESCAC school.

In the second game of the tri-match Roger Williams swept Wesleyan (2-7) in three sets behind Flaherty's 15 kills. Kim Farris (Atlanta, GA) had 15 kills for Wesleyan.

Baum hit .625 with five kills in eight attempts for Tufts against the Hawks. She also had 38 assists and 13 digs. Ingrum added 10 kills and 14 digs.  First-year Elizabeth Ahrens (Richmond, VA) had nine kills and four blocks. First-year Mary Maccabee (River Edge, NJ) added seven kills for the Jumbos.

The Jumbos host a tri-match on Saturday, September 28th when NESCAC opponent Connecticut College and Little East member UMass-Boston come to Cousens Gym.