MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Sophomore Cate Desler finished with 15 kills and 12 digs and the No. 14 Tufts volleyball team moved to 8-0 in conference play with a 3-0 win over Middlebury on the road on Saturday afternoon.
|Christina Nwankpa finished with five blocks and leads the Jumbos with 1.00 blocks per set|
The Jumbos are now 21-1 overall and 8-0 in NESCAC matches. Middlebury falls to 11-9 this season with a 4-4 mark in conference play.
The Jumbos scored the first four points of the first set off the serve of senior Brigid Bell and were able to grow that lead to ten, 20-10. The Panthers got a kill from Corley Doyle and a couple of Jumbo errors cut the lead to seven, 20-13. But, the Jumbos took advantage of a Panther serve error and then got a kill from junior Jennifer Ryan to get things going again and picked up the 25-15 win in set one.
Set two was the closest of the day and would need extra points to determine a winner. After the Jumbos scored the first two points of the set, the Panthers built a lead of their own. The Jumbos tied the match at ten, but the Panthers jumped out ahead again. After things were tied at 13, 14 and 15 the Jumbos took a lead thanks to a kill from senior Heather Holz and a Panther error. They held on to that lead until the Panthers tied things at 24. After the set was tied at 25, the Jumbos took advantage of a Panther error and then a kill from Ryan sealed the 27-25 win in set two for Tufts.
Tufts led early in the third set, 8-2. The Panthers cut the lead to four, but they weren't able to get any closer than that and the Jumbos won the match with a 25-16 win in set three.
Desler was the offensive leader for the Jumbos with 15 kills and 12 digs, while also adding two service aces. Ryan and senior Christina Nwankpa each finished with nine kills and Nwankpa added five blocks to that. Senior Maddie Stewart and Bell each turned in seven kills and Bell added seven digs, two aces and three blocks while Stewart turned in two blocks. Defensively for the Jumbos freshman Stephanie Lee was the leader with 17 digs. Sophomore Ariel Zedric also helped with eight. Zedric and Furash ran the offense, finishing with 19 and 18 assists, respectively.
Maggie Wise led the Panther offense finishing the match with ten kills and nine digs. Doyle added nine kills and a couple of blocks. Jane Nelson turned in six kills. Defensively Gigi Alper was the leader with 19 digs while Wise turned in nine, Emma Walsh finished with eight and Kelly Ferrero helped with five. Chellsea Ferdinand and Walsh took care of the setting, and Ferdinand finished with 15 assists while Walsh added 13.
The Jumbos return home on Friday when they host Bates for a 7 pm start. Middlebury plays again on Tuesday when they host Plymouth State at 7 pm.