Volleyball Opens Up NESCAC Play With Win Over Bates On the Road

LEWISTON, Maine – Opening up NESCAC play on the road, the Tufts volleyball team collected a 3-0 win over Bates on Friday night.  Junior co-captain Maddie Stewart finished with nine kills and five blocks for the Jumbos.   

Maddie Stewart had nine kills and five blocks, three of those solo

With the win Tufts improves to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in NESCAC play.  Bates drops to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in NESCAC games.  

The first set was close early on, as both teams traded points early. The score was tied seven times early on, but with things locked at ten the Jumbos got a kill from Stewart followed, by a kill from sophomore Sophia Acker and an ace from freshman Ariel Zedric. After a Bates timeout, the Jumbos grew their lead to four with a kill from freshman Cate Desler.  The Bobcats came within one, 14-13, but that's as close as they would get as the Jumbos picked up a 25-18 win in set one.  

The Jumbos scored the first four points of the second set, to take an early lead.  The Bobcats were as close as two, 8-6, but the Jumbos then scored five points behind the serve of junior Rachel Furash to take a 13-6 lead.  With the Jumbos ahead 23-15, the Bobcats started a comeback, scoring four points behind the serve of Lauren Brough.  But that comeback came up short and Tufts picked up the 25-21 win in set two.  

Once again in the third set the Jumbos took an early lead. After a Jumbo error brought the Bobcats within three, 8-5, the Jumbos scored seven straight points behind the serve of Desler to take a 15-5 lead.  They held on to that lead for a 25-18 win in set three. 

Stewart was the offensive leader for the Jumbos with nine kills and five blocks, three of those solo. Junior Heather Holz added six kills and three blocks with two aces and Desler tallied six kills, nine digs and three aces.  Acker was the defensive leader with 11 digs and she also posted three aces. Furash and Zedric took care of the setting, finishing with 14 and ten assists, respectively. 

For the Bobcats Taylor Stafford-Smith was the offensive leader with ten kills.  Samantha Schecter added five and Angel Echipue finished with four kills.  Defensively Gabi Eustache collected 14 digs.  Julia Panepinto ran the offensive, finishing with 27 assists. 

The Jumbos are back in action on Saturday as they travel up to Colby for a 1 pm start with the Mules. Bates hosts Bowdoin on Saturday with a 2 pm scheduled start.