AMHERST, Mass. – Behind 13 kills from sophomore Cate Desler the No. 14 Tufts volleyball team remained perfect in NESCAC play with a 3-0 win over Amherst on the road on Friday night.
|Sophomore Ariel Zedric finished the night with 21 assists and six digs|
The Jumbos improve to 20-1 overall on the season and 7-0 in NESCAC games. Amherst falls to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in conference matches.
The entire first set was close, and the two teams traded points and the lead. With the score locked at 17 the Jumbos got a kill from senior Brigid Bell and then a Mammoth error gave them a 19-17 lead. With the Jumbos ahead 22-20, kills from junior Jennifer Ryan and Desler, along with a Mammoth error gave the Jumbos a 25-21 win in the first set.
The Jumbos jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the second set. Trailing 9-4 the Mammoths benefited from a Jumbo service error and then two kills from Cameron Hendricks and one from Emily Kolsky brought them within one, 9-8. But the Jumbos answered with two kills from senior Christina Nwankpa and another from Desler. After two Mammoth points that moved the score to 12-10 in the Jumbos advantage, the Jumbos scored six straight off the serve of Bell to take an 18-10 lead. The Mammoths chipped away, and came within one late, 24-23. But a kill from Ryan sealed the 25-23 win in set two to give the Jumbos the 2-0 advantage in the match.
Once again it was Tufts that got out to an early lead in the third set. The Jumbos scored five straight off the serve of Bell and then another three off the serve of freshman Stephanie Lee to take an early 8-3 lead. Amherst stayed in it, but the Jumbos were able to hold on to that lead for a 25-15 win in set three to win the match.
Desler was the offensive leader with 13 kills and she also added nine digs to her night. Ryan finished with 10 kills and a .474 hitting percentage. Senior Maddie Stewart helped with nine kills and three blocks. Classmates Heather Holz and Nwankpa each added six kills and Nwankpa also turned in five blocks. Defensively Lee was the leader with 22 digs and Bell helped with 13. Senior Rachel Furash and sophomore Ariel Zedric took care of the setting. Furash finished with 20 assists and Zedric tallied 21 assists.
Jamie Dailey led the offense for the Mammoths with ten kills and three digs. Sophie Launsbach added eight kills, while Hendricks tallied seven kills. Pearl Acord led the defensive efforts with ten digs, but Charlotte Duran added nine and Emily Kolsky finished with eight. Duran handled the setting, collecting 19 assists. Jacqueline Kortekaas helped, finishing the night with nine assists.
The Jumbos play again when they travel to Middlebury on Saturday for a 2 pm start with the Panthers. Amherst hosts Bowdoin on Saturday for a 1 pm scheduled match.