MEDFORD – Behind 13 kills from senior Mackenzie Bright, the Tufts volleyball team opened up their 2018 campaign with a 3-1 win over Clark in Cousens Gym on Tuesday evening. The Jumbos had three different players with double-digit kills.
|Rookie Cate Desler finished with eight kills and eight digs.|
With the 3-1 (25-16, 19-25, 25-16, 25-17) win the Jumbos improve to 1-0 on the season while Clark falls to 2-1 on the season as the loss was their first setback of the season.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead in the first set, but the Jumbos fought back with six straight points behind the serve of freshman Cate Desler to tie the match at seven and then take a 10-7 lead. The Cougars broke up the scoring streak with a kill from Corina Picon, but the Jumbos held on to the lead and picked up the 25-16 win in set one.
Once again the Cougars jumped out to an early lead in the second set. Tufts came within one point 13-12, but the Cougars held on to the lead and picked up a 25-19 win in set two to even the match at one.
The two teams traded points to open up the third set. With things locked at five the Jumbos got a kills from junior captain Maddie Stewart and classmate Christina Nwankpa to take the lead. They held on to that lead for a 25-16 win in set three.
In set four the Jumbos took an early lead again, and they were able to hold on to that lead for the duration of the set, winning 25-17, to pick up the 3-1 win.
Ana Patricia Mercado finished with 18 kills and six digs for the Cougars. Caitlin Leggett helped with seven kills and Sophia Torino turned in four of her own. Rayme Quiban led the defensive efforts with 17 digs while Ashley Kim added eight and Leggett finished with seven. Torino and Margarita Perez-Maza took care of the settings for the Cougars, finishing with 17 and 11 assists, respectively.
Bright was the offensive leader for the Jumbos with 13 kills and only three errors for a .400 hitting percentage. Junior Brigid Bell finished with ten kills and 12 digs and classmate Heather Holz added ten kills. Junior Christina Nwankpa tallied nine kills and four blocks for Tufts. Freshman Cate Desler turned in eight kills and eight digs in her collegaite debut. Sophomore Sophia Acker was the defensive leader for the Jumbos, collecting 24 digs. Freshman Ariel Zedric and junior Rachel Furash ran the offense for Tufts, finishing with 27 and 22 assists, respectively.
Clark will take the court again on Friday when they face off with Westfield State at 5 pm at the Trinity College Tournament. The Jumbos head to Emory this weekend for the Emory National Tournament and they take on Oglethorpe in their first game on Friday at 11:30 am.