Volleyball Opens Up NESCAC Play With Road Win Over Connecticut College

New London, Conn. – The Tufts volleyball team opened up NESCAC play on the road on Friday night and picked up a 3-1 win over Connecticut College.  The Jumbos were led by 14 kills from senior Maddie Stewart and 12 kills and five blocks from classmate Christina Nwankpa

Christina Nwankpa finished with 12 kills and a remarkable .857 hitting percentage

With the win the Jumbos improve to 8-0 overall and 1-0 in NESCAC matches.  Connecticut College falls to 4-4 overall this year and they are 0-1 in conference play.  

The Jumbos scored the first seven points of the first set, getting behind the serve of senior Rachel Furash to take an early lead.  They were able to hold on to that lead for a 25-10 win in set one. 

In the second set the Jumbos once again grabbed an early lead, and led by six at many different points throughout the set.  Down 23-15 the Camels made a bit of a comeback, getting kills from Katie Howley and Katie Gunderman and two aces from Grace McGee to come within four, 23-19.  But, the Jumbos took advantage of a couple of service errors to pick up a 25-20 win in set two. 

It was the Camels who took an early lead in the third set, and they led for most of the set.  Down 18-16 the Jumbos got a kill from sophomore Cate Desler and then a Camel error tied things at 18.  But, the home team got a kill from Howley and then two aces from McGee to take a 21-18 lead and they hung on for a 25-23 win in set three to stay alive. 

It was all Jumbos in set four as they took the lead early and cruised to a 25-9 win to take the match. 

Stewart finished with 14 kills, five digs and three blocks.  Nwankpa had a fantastic night, with 12 kills on 14 attempts with no errors for a .857 hitting percentage.  She also added five blocks.  Desler turned in eight kills and seven digs.  Senior Brigid Bell added three kills, two aces and 14 digs to the win.  Junior Jennifer Ryan helped with seven kills and two blocks.  Defensively junior Sophia Acker led the Jumbos with 19 digs.  Furash tallied 26 assists, five digs and three aces.  Sophomore Ariel Zedric picked up 14 assists. 

Howley was the offensive and defensive leader for the Camels, finishing with 13 kills and 17 digs.  Annie Wibbelsman finished with seven kills and Christina Leduc helped with six kills.  Dayna McCue added nine digs, Eliza Wolcott tallied five kills and eight digs.  McGee finished with six service aces, while also taking care of the setting and collecting 33 assists. 

The Jumbos are back in action on Saturday when they travel to No. 15 Wesleyan for a 2 pm start with the Cardinals.  The Camels host Bowdoin on Saturday with a schedule 2pm start.