MEDFORD – Playing at home for the first time in 23 days the No. 24 Tufts volleyball team picked up a commanding 3-0 win over visiting Bowdoin on Friday night in Cousens Gym. The Jumbos were led by 12 kills from sophomore Cate Desler and 11 from senior Brigid Bell.
|Stephanie Lee led the defense on Friday with 19 digs|
The Jumbos improve to 10-0 overall this year and remain a perfect 3-0 in NESCAC matches. Bowdoin falls to 4-6 overall this season with a 1-2 mark in conference contests.
The Jumbos jumped out to an early lead in the first set, scoring the first five points of the match and leading 10-2 early. But, behind the serve of Sophia Pahl the Polar Bears scored four straight points to start a comeback and then tied things at 11. The two teams traded points and the lead, but with things locked at 17 the Jumbos got a kill from senior Christina Nwankpa and then an ace from Bell to take a 19-17 lead. After a Bowdoin point, the Jumbos got behind the serve of freshman Stephanie Lee and scored four straight points to take a 23-18 lead and picked up a 25-21 win in set one.
The second set was close to start. The Jumbos broke a tie at eight by taking advantage of a Bowdoin error which was followed by an ace from senior Rachel Furash to move the lead to two, 10-8. After a Polar Bear point the Jumbos scored five straight behind the serve of Bell to take a 15-9 lead. They picked up a 25-15 win in set two to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
It was all Jumbos in the third set as the home team jumped out to an early lead and maintained that lead for the duration of the set, winning 25-14 to secure the 3-0 match win.
Desler's 12 kills led the Jumbos offensively and she also added four digs and two blocks. Bell finished with 11 kills, six digs and two aces. Nwankpa tallied eight kills and a couple blocks. Stewart finished with six kills and two blocks. Defensively, Lee collected 19 digs. Furash and sophomore Ariel Zedric split the setting, finishing with 21 and 12 assists, respectively.
For the Polar Bears Caroline Flaharty was the offensive leader with 12 kills and she also added six digs to her night. Pahl turned in five kills and nine digs and Cori Gray added four kills. Defensively Emily King helped with 12 digs. Kate Kiser and Ella Haugen ran the offense, as Kiser finished with 12 assists and Haugen tallied ten.
The Jumbos are back in action on Saturday when they host a day full in Cousens Gym. The Jumbos take on Maine Maritime at 11 am and Johnson and Wales at 5 pm. Bowdoin plays at Tufts again on Saturday, as they face off with Johnson and Wales at 1 pm and Maine Maritime at 3 pm in Cousens Gym.