MEDFORD – Senior outside hitter Maddie Stewart of the Tufts University volleyball team has been named the first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Player of the Week of the season following her performance within the Jumbos' 4-0 opening week.
Stewart started in all 14 sets the Jumbos played in their opening week. She led the team in kills (44) and kills per set (3.14) while compiling a strong .376 hitting percentage. On the defensive side of the ball, Stewart led the Jumbos in solo blocks (3) and finished the week with 10 blocks overall.
In Tufts' five-set opener against Emerson last Wednesday, Stewart tallied a career-high 18 kills on 38 attempts for a .368 hitting percentage. She also added a block and two service aces to be responsible for 21 points in the Jumbos' win.
Stewart added six kills on 12 attempts in a 3-0 victory over Roger Williams on Friday at the Coast Guard / Connecticut College Invitational. She added a solo block and two assisted blocks in the match to score eight points.
The co-captain tallied 20 kills in two matches in tournament action on Saturday with eight coming against DeSales and 12 against Coast Guard. Both matches were 3-0 scores for Tufts. Against Desales, Stewart tallied her season-high hitting percentage of .462. She had five block assists combined in the two matches (three versus Coast Guard).
This is the team's first NESCAC Player of the Week award since 2017. The last Jumbo volleyball player to earn the NESCAC Player of the Week honor was Mackenzie Bright two years ago. Stewart was a NESCAC All-Conference second team selection for 2018. She currently ranks third in NESCAC for kills with the 44 from last week. She's also fourth in total blocks with 10.
Stewart and the Jumbos return to action on Friday evening when they travel to Endicott College for an MIT Invitational match. Start time is scheduled for 6:30 pm.