MEDFORD – The No.13 Tufts University women's volleyball team earned a 3-0 (25-16, 25-14, 25-16) victory over Springfield College on Friday evening at Cousens Gym. Prior to the start of the contest the Jumbos honored their five tufts seniors: Brigid Bell, Rachel Furash, Heather Holz, Christina Nwankpa and Maddie Stewart.
|Freshman Janelle Yarwood made her first career start.|
The Jumbos remain undefeated, grabbing their 18th win on the season. The Pride fall to 16-7 on the season.
Tufts jumped on the board quickly with the first three points of the contest, two coming from Pride attack errors. However, Springfield settled in and got the match to one point at 4-3 following a kill by Demi Spanos. The back-and-forth action would continue until 10-8, in favor of the Jumbos. Tufts tallied eight of the next 10 points with kills coming from Stewart, Nwankpa, and freshman Anna Nachmanoff. Springfield attempted to slow down the Jumbos with a timeout, however Tufts earned the next point out of the timeout. With an eight-point advantage, the Jumbos cruised to a set victory, 25-16.
Stewart grabbed the first point of set two with a kill. Again, the teams traded points early. However, Springfield went on a four-point run to take their first and only lead of the night at 7-6. Their run was made up of three errors by the Jumbos and a kill by Katie vonKampen. That would be a short-lived lead as a five-point run gave Tufts the lead. A service error tied the set at 7-7 then back-to-back kills by junior Jennifer Ryan, a service ace by freshman Janelle Yarwood, and another kill by Ryan gave the Jumbos a 11-7 lead. The teams would trade single points until Bell, Stewart, and Nwankpa propelled Tufts to a seven point lead at 17-10. Tufts closed out the set by tallying seven of the last eight points to put themselves on match point.
Tufts jumped out to a 7-2 advantage early in the third set. The Pride closed the gap with three-straight points. Tufts quickly extended their lead back to five with five of the next seven points. They strung three points together during that streak with kills by Holz and Ryan and a pride attack error. The teams traded points, but the Jumbos did not let the Pride get to within three points which came at 17-14. Stewart, Holz, and freshman Stephanie Lee made up three of five straight points down the stretch as the Jumbos closed out the match at 25-16.
Ryan and Nwankpa led the Jumbos offensively with 11 kills and nine kills. Lee tied a game-high 10 digs while adding in 10 assists. Furash led the Jumbos with 18 assists while adding nine digs on the defensive side of play. Stewart and Yarwood added eight kills each for the Jumbo attack.
Demi Spanos led the Pride with nine kills. Gabrielle Bradley and vonKampen added five kills to pace the offense. Sara Labadorf finished with a game-high 20 assists and tied a game-high 10 digs.
Both teams will head to MIT tomorrow to close out the New England Challenge. The Jumbos start their day at 11 am when they play Babson College before playing the hosts at 3:30 pm. The Pride will play a pair of NESCAC teams in Middlebury and Williams with start times of 11 am and 3:30 pm.