Behind Season-High Block Numbers Volleyball Picks Up 3-1 Road Win Over Williams

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – After picking up a win in a close first set, the Tufts volleyball team dropped a set to Williams but rebounded well, picking up two decisive wins to take a 3-1 win over the Ephs on Saturday, closing out another NESCAC road weekend. 

Rachel Furash tied her season-high with 38 assists for the Jumbos

The Jumbos improve to 9-6 overall and 4-1 in NESCAC play.  Williams moves to 7-7 overall and 2-3 in conference play.

Williams took an early lead in the first set, and the Jumbos were able to tie things twice, but weren't able to take a lead of their own.  With the set tied for the third time, this time at 15, the Jumbos took a lead of their own thanks to an Eph error.  But, the Ephs took the lead again thanks to a Jumbo service error and a kill from Erin Denham. The two teams traded points, and the Ephs were ahead 24-23.  A kill from junior co-captain Maddie Stewart tied things at 24 and then junior Brigid Bell put the Jumbos ahead with a kill, and a double block from Stewart and classmate Christina Nwankpa gave the Jumbos the 26-24 win in set one. 

Things in the second set were very close in the beginning as the Ephs once again took a lead and the Jumbos managed to tie things five times early.  With the score locked at 11 the Jumbos took their first lead of the set thanks to an Eph error, but then two Jumbo errors tied things at 12 and gave the Ephs a 13-12 advantage. The Ephs would hang on to that lead and pick up the 25-19 win in set two to even the match at one. 

The Jumbos scored the first four points of the third set and built up a sizable lead.  They put the match away when they scored seven straight points behind the serve of freshman Cate Desler to take a 24-11 lead.  After two Williams points, a kill from Stewart gave the Jumbos a 25-13 win in set three to take a 2-1 lead in the match. 

The fourth set started close, with the two teams trading points early.  With things locked at nine the Jumbos got a kill from Nwankpa and then two from Desler, and a kill from junior Heather Holz put them up 13-9.  They held on to that advantage and picked up the 25-15 win in set four to take the match 3-1.  

Desler finished with 14 kills and 16 digs and Stewart added 13 kills and five blocks.  Bell added 12 kills and nine digs.  Nwankpa finished with six kills and four blocks and Holz added six kills and six blocks.  Defensively, sophomore Sophia Acker tallied 23 digs.  Junior Rachel Furash and freshman Ariel Zedric ran the offense, finishing with 38 and 11 assists, respectively.  

For the Ephs, Olivia Hindy was the offensive leader with eight kills and Denham and Mia Weinland finished with seven kills each.   Roxi Corbeil added six kills and Tess Richman turned in four kills and four blocks.  Daiana Takashima finished with 18 digs and Morgan Richman added 13 to the day. Alex Newton took care of the setting, finishing with 26 assists. 

The Jumbos are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to UMass-Boston for a 7 pm start.  Williams takes the court again on Tuesday as well when they host New Paltz with a 7 pm scheduled start.