Cambridge, Mass. – Behind 15 kills and 11 digs from senior Brigid Bell, the Tufts volleyball team opened up play in the MIT Invitational with a 3-1 win over Endicott on Friday night on the campus of MIT. Bell led three different Jumbos who finished with double-digit kill numbers, including 12 from senior Maddie Stewart and 11 from sophomore Cate Desler.
|Rookie Stephanie Lee led the Jumbo defense with 18 digs|
With the win the Jumbos improve to 5-0 this season. The loss moves Endicott to 5-3 so far this year.
The first set was the closest of the match. With things locked at eight the Jumbos took advantage of a couple of Gull errors, and kills from Bell and junior Jennifer Ryan gave them a 12-9 lead. They would hold on to that lead until the Gulls locked the score again at 16. And from there, the Gulls took a lead of their own. Down 23-21 the Jumbos got a kill from Bell and then another from Desler to tie things at 23. Two Endicott errors gave the Jumbos a 25-23 win in set one.
The Gulls scored 14 unanswered points in the second set to come from behind and win the set. Down 15-11 Endicott started their streak, and the Jumbos weren't able to stop them. Endicott scored 14 points behind the serve of Amanda Gilbert to even the match at one with a 25-15 win in set two.
The third set was close for the first half of the set. With the score tied at 12 the Jumbos scored six points behind the serve of freshman Stephanie Lee to take an 18-12 lead. They held on for the 25-18 win in set three to take a 2-1 advantage in the match.
It was all Jumbos in the fourth set, as they jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 25-13 win in the fourth set to take the match.
Bell's 15 kills and 11 digs led the Jumbos offensively. Stewart finished with 12 kills, six digs and two blocks. Desler added 11 kills and 11 digs along with two aces. Ryan turned in nine kills and a block, and senior Christina Nwankpa helped with nine kills and three blocks. Classmate Heather Holz tallied four blocks. Defensively, Lee was the leader with 18 digs, while senior Rachel Furash added 13 digs. Furash and sophomore Ariel Zedric took care of the setting, finishing with 34 and 18 assists, respectively.
Remi Quesnelle led the Gull offense with 11 kills and six digs while Gilbert turned in ten kills and four aces. Colleen McAvoy added six kills and three blocks and Nicole Winkler helped with five kills and four blocks. Defensively Mackenzie Kennedy and Lauren McGrath each tallied 16 digs. Zoey Gifford took care of the setting, finishing with 31 assists.
The Jumbos are back in action on Saturday when MIT Invitational play continues. They will take on RIT at 10 am and Wellesley at 4:30 pm. Endicott also plays twice on Saturday, facing off with Wellesley at 12 pm and SUNY Geneseo at 2:30 pm.