This Week in Tufts Athletics: November 11 - 17

Volleyball Hosts NCAA Regional in Cousens Gym 

Friday through Sunday 
Volleyball vs. Eastern Nazarene on Friday at 8 pm
What you need to know: After winning the program’s second NESCAC Championship, and first since 1996, this past weekend the volleyball team has been selected to host an NCAA Regional in Cousens Gym this weekend.  Seven other teams will come to Medford to play in the eight-team regional.  The Jumbos (27-1) will face New England Collegiate Conference champion Eastern Nazarene College (17-6) in the opening round on Friday at 8:00 pm. Other first-day matches have NESCAC runner-up Bowdoin College (18-7) versus Commonwealth Coast Conference winner Endicott College (23-7) at 5:30 pm, Great Northeast Athletic Conference champ Johnson & Wales University (27-4) facing North Atlantic Conference winner Maine Maritime Academy (24-3) at 12:30 pm and New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference champ Babson College (32-1) versus Little East Conference titlist University of Massachusetts Boston (12-18) at 3:00 pm.  The eight teams are all playing for a spot in the national quarterfinals.  The Tufts-Eastern Nazarene and Bowdoin-Endicott winners will meet in the semifinals on Saturday at 5 pm, as will the Johnson & Wales-Maine Maritime and Babson-UMass Boston winners at 2:30 pm.  Sunday at 1 pm is set for the final. The Jumbos are hosting for the fourth time in program history.  They also hosted in 2008, 2009 and 2016.  The Jumbos Regional titles there and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2016.  
 

Men’s Soccer Hosts NCAA Regional at Bello Field 

Saturday and Sunday 
Men’s Soccer vs. SUNY Maritime on Saturday at 1 pm 
What you need to know: For the third straight year the men’s soccer team will host NCAA Tournament Regional action at Bello Field this weekend.  The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champion Jumbos (14-2-2) will host Skyline Conference champions SUNY Maritime College (12-9-2) in the first round on Saturday at 1:00 pm. New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference runner-up Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) (12-3-4) will go against Empire 8 Conference champion Nazareth College (14-2-3) in Saturday's other first-round game at 3:30 pm. The winners will meet in the Regional final on Sunday at 3:00 pm.   Tufts is the defending NCAA champion and has won three of the last five DIII titles including 2014 and 2016.  With this year’s berth, Tufts has now reached the NCAA Tournament in six consecutive years, dating back to 2014.  The program has an impressive 21-5-2 record in NCAA Tournament games. \
 

Women’s Soccer Heads to TCNJ for NCAA Regional 

Saturday and Sunday 
Women’s Soccer vs. Cortland at TCNJ on Saturday at 3:30 pm 
What you need to know: The women’s soccer team earned their eighth NCAA Division III Championship berth and third in a row. Tufts (12-3-2) will travel to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) for a four-team NCAA Regional later this week. The Jumbos will play State University of New York Athletic Conference champions Cortland State University (12-5-2) in the first round on Saturday. The host and New Jersey Athletic Conference champion Lions (16-1-1) will face City University of New York Athletic Conference winners John Jay College (12-6-1) in Saturday's other first-round game. The winners will meet in the Regional final on Sunday.  Tufts has a strong NCAA history, as Coach Whiting has twice directed Tufts into the “Final Four.” Tufts hosted the semifinals and championship game on Kraft Field in 2000.  The Jumbos have an 11-6-4 mark in NCAA play overall with other berths coming in 1998, 2002, 2007, 2017 and 2018. 
 

Field Hockey Plays in NCAA Regional at Johns Hopkins 

Saturday and Sunday 
Field Hockey vs. Rochester/Denison on Saturday at TBD 
What you need to know: The field hockey team earned the program’s 11th berth into the NCAA Division III Championship.  The Jumbos received a first-round bye and will travel to a Regional hosted by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore next weekend.  The Jumbos will play the winner of Wednesday’s first-round game between Rochester (14-8) and Denison (16-3) on Saturday at 2 pm. Host Johns Hopkins (17-2) will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between Messiah (16-4) and Worcester State (12-3) also on Saturday.  The Regional final will be played on Sunday.  Regional winners will advance to the NCAA “Final Four” to be played at Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Pa. The Jumbos are returning to the NCAA Tournaent after advancing to the national championship game for the fourth time last fall.  Tufts lost to Middlebury 2-0 in the 2018 NCAA final.  Tufts won the 2012 national title, and the Jumbo program has an overall 18-9 mark in NCAA Tournament play.  

Women’s Cross Country in NCAA Regional Championship at Bowdoin

Saturday at 12:15 pm 
At Pickard Field Cross Country Course at Bowdoin 
What you need to know: The women’s cross country team heads to Maine this weekend to race in the NCAA Regional Championship, looking to earn a berth to the NCAA Championship to be held the following weekend.  This weekend’s regional will be hosted by Bowdoin and held at Pickard Field Cross Country Course in in Brunswick, Maine. The Jumbos should be led by All-NESCAC selections senior Sabrina Gornisiewicz and sophomore Danielle Page.  Gornisiewicz finished third at the NESCAC Championships while Page was the runner-up with a second-place finish. The Jumbos were ranked ninth in the most recent United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll. The only New England teams ahead of them were No. 3 MIT and No. 4 Williams. The Jumbos finished second at the NESCAC Championships, their best showing since back-to-back second place finishes in 2015 and 2016.  At last year’s regional championship the Jumbos finished fifth, which earned them a berth to the national event where they finished 12th.  They were one of three NESCAC teams to finish in the top 15 at the national race.  This years national event will be held at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. next weekend. 

Men’s Cross Country in NCAA Regional Championship at Bowdoin

Saturday at 11 am 
At Pickard Field Cross Country Course at Bowdoin
What you need to know: The men’s cross country team heads to Bowdoin this weekend to race in the NCAA Regional Championship held at the Pickard Field Cross Country Course.  The Jumbos will be looking to run well enough to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships held the following weekend.  Coming off an eight place finish at the NESCAC Championships two weekends ago, the Jumbos have had two weeks to rest up for this weekends regional event.  Sophomore Sam Gatti was the top Jumbo finisher at the conference championship, finishing 15th overall.  Freshman Evan Ensslin, sophomore Neerav Gade, junior Patrick Nero, freshman Connor Giersch and sophomores Joseph Harmon and Collin O’Sullivan all placed for the Jumbos at the NESCAC championships.  The Jumbos finished seventh at the NESCAC Championship last year and then had a great regional race, finishing 5th and earning a berth into the national event for the first time since 2015.  At the national race they finished 25th.  The Jumbos will look to run well enough this weekend to earn another trip to the national race. This year’s NCAA Championship will be held at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. 

 

Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving at Williams with Wesleyan and WPI

Saturday at Williams at 1 pm 
What you need to know: The men’s and women’s swimming team kicks off their 2019-20 campaign this weekend as they head to Williams for a meet with the Ephs along with Wesleyan and WPI.  The men are coming off a tenth place finish at the NCAA Championships which makes three years in a row the Jumbos have finished in tenth place at the national event.  Senior Roger Gu who finished second in the 100 freestyle and won the national title in the 50 freestyle last year.  Junior Tyler Tatro and sophomore Victor Vollbrechthausen along with Gu earned All-American honors in the 400 freestyle.  Junior Nathan Mitchell and sophomore Nate Tingen were among the top 30 in the 200 back.  Senior Costa Camerano was a multiple All-American last year with the 200 medley and the 200 freestyle relays.  Senior Matt Manfre, sophomore Tar Tar Jarusinchai and junior John Koster all raced at last year’s national event and earned honorable mention status last year. For the women they also return NCAA national meet experience.  The Jumbos finished second at the NESCAC Championships last year, their best ever finish at the conference meet.  They then finished 16th at the national meet, their best finish since 1990.  Back for the Jumbos is senior Grace Goetcheus, sophomore Mary Hufziger and junior Amy Socha combined to finish in 16th place.  Junior Lily Kurtz earned honorable mention All-American honors in the 200 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay last year.  Both the men and the women will be challenged early this year, as Williams won both the men’s and women’s NESCAC Championship last year.  


Erica DeCandido, Senior, Women’s Basketball 

Winter sports open their 2019-20 campaigns this weekend, and the No. 2 women’s basketball team opens their season with games against Roger Williams and New Paltz in the Tufts Tip Off Tournament which will be held at UMass Boston’s Clark Athletic Center.  DeCandido was named a D3hoops.com Preseason All-America Third Team selection, and is one of four NESCAC players to be named to one of the five All-America teams. Last season, DeCandido started all 31 of the Jumbos games, and was tied for the team lead with 12.8 points per game.  She shot 84.9 percent from the free throw line, which is seventh-best in Tufts in program history. She averaged 5.7 rebounds per game, which led the team and added a team-high 3.5 assists per game and 1.5 steals per game.  Look for DeCandido to be big this year, as she is a senior leading a talented Jumbo team.

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Joe Braun scored the game-winner with just a few minutes left on the clock as the men’s soccer team won their second NESCAC Championship this past weekend.  Braun’s goal earns him play of the week honors.  Watch it here:

Calvin Aroh, Junior, Men’s Soccer 

The center-midfield play of junior Calvin Aroh was a key factor in the men’s soccer team winning the NESCAC Championship this past weekend.  The Jumbos won their second title in three years with a 2-1 win over Middlebury in the final on Sunday.  They advanced to the final with a 1-0 overtime win over Williams in the semifinals on Saturday.  A 6’3”, 190-pounder from Glastonbury, Conn. Aroh was dominant at center midfield in the Jumbos’ two wins.  Hew on tackles and header to dictate Tufts’ posses from the base of their midfield.  Then on Sunday, Aroh set up the championship-winning goal in the 88th minute.  He took a short pass from senior Zach Lane just outside the top of the goal area and chipped a perfect ball inside the box to senior Joe Braun who turned and fired home the goal that would be the game-winner. 

 

Maddie Stewart, Senior, Volleyball

Senior outside hitter Maddie Stewart was a vital part of the volleyball team winning a NESCAC Championship this past weekend.  The title is the second in program history and the first since 1996 for the Jumbos.  Tufts defeated Hamilton and Middlebury in three sets during quarterfinal and semifinal play.  They then won the championship in an exciting five-set match against Bowdoin on Sunday.  Stewart recorded 35 kills in the three wins, making just eight errors in 71 attempts to finish the weekend with a .380 hitting percentage.  The tri-captain had 16 kills in the championship match and clinched the title by scoring the final point in a tight 15-13 fifth-set win.  Stewart had 13 kills with just two errors in 21 swings versus Hamilton in the quarterfinals.  She added five block assists in the three matches.