Volleyball Opens Up New England Challenge Play With Win Over Springfield

MEDFORD – Opening New England Challenge play at home the Tufts volleyball team collected a 3-0 win over visiting Springfield on Friday night in Cousens Gym.  Junior Brigid Bell led the Jumbos with seven kills and a match-high 16 digs. 

Brigid Bell helped the Jumbos with seven kills and 16 digs Friday

With the win the Jumbos improve to 12-8 overall and remain 5-3 in NESCAC play.  Springfield, who has lost their last three, falls to 19-5 overall and stays 7-1 in NEWMAC contests. 

The first set started close as the two teams traded points early.  The score was tied eight times before the Jumbos took a lead they kept.  Tied at 12 the Jumbos took advantage of a Pride service error and then got a kill from Bell to take a 14-12 lead.  After a kill from the Pride's Jenn Donnelly, the Jumbos scored seven points behind the serve of junior Rachel Furash to take a 21-13 lead and held on for the 25-14 win in set one. 

In the second set the Jumbos scored the first four points, but the Pride answered right away and things remained close.  Down 11-7 the Pride scored five consecutive points thanks to a couple of Jumbo errors, and two kills from Camryn Bancroft to take a 12-11 lead.  The two teams traded points and the lead, and with things locked at 14 the Jumbos got a kill from junior Heather Holz and then a Pride error gave the Jumbos them a 16-14 advantage.  The Pride hung in, but the Jumbos picked up the 25-20 win in set three to take a 2-0 advantage in the match. 

Tufts picked up right where they left off in the third se, as they jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and never looked back, cruising to a 25-12 win in set three to take the match. 

Bell and senior co-captain Mackenzie Bright led the offense for the Jumbos, both finishing with seven kills.  Bell added a team-high 16 digs as well and Bright finished with six digs.  Holz tallied five kills and three blocks, and sophomore Jennifer Ryan also added five kills and four blocks.  Sophomore Jordan Kron and junior co-captain Maddie Stewart had four kills each.  Defensively, freshman Ariel Zedric and sophomore Sophia Acker each collected 12 digs.  Zedric also added four service aces and finished with 14 assists.  Furash helped with the setting, adding ten assists and eight digs. 

For the Pride Hayley Kmetz was the offensive leader with eight kills.  Donnelly added four and Katie vonKampen, Bancroft and Ashley Tanner all added three kills each.  Defensively Donnelly, Sara Labadorf and Hannah Lozano all finished with nine digs.  Labadorf took care of the setting, collecting 16 assists.  

Both teams are back in action tomorrow in the New England Challenge at MIT.  The Jumbos take on Babson at 11 am and MIT at 3:30 pm.  Springfield plays Williams at 11 am and Middlebury at 3:30 pm.