MEDFORD – Senior outside hitter Maddie Stewart has been named the NESCAC Player of the Week after her role in helping the Tufts University volleyball team win the NESCAC championship at Cousens Gym over the weekend.
Head coach Cora Thompson's Jumbos won the league title for the second time and for the first year since 1996. Tufts defeated Hamilton and Middlebury in three sets during the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. The Jumbos then won the championship in an exciting five-set match versus Bowdoin on Sunday.
Stewart recorded 35 kills in the three Tufts victories. She made just eight errors in 71 total attempts to finish the weekend with a .380 hitting percentage. The tri-captain had 16 kills in the championship match and clinched the title by scoring the final point in a tight 15-13 victory in the fifth set against Bowdoin. Stewart had 13 kills with just two errors in 21 swings versus Hamilton (.524) in the quarterfinals (.524). She added five block assists in the three matches.
This is the fourth time a Jumbo has been NESCAC Player of the Week this fall after winning it just three times in the previous four seasons. It's the second honor of 2019 for Stewart, who also won the first week's award back on September 9. Classmate Brigid Bell was named the following week (September 16) and senior Christina Nwankpa shared the recognition on October 7.
A NESCAC All-Conference second team selection a year ago, Stewart's .383 hitting percentage is second in the league this season. Her 274 kills and 64 total blocks are fourth and seventh in NESCAC this fall, respectively. The 316.5 points she's scored for the Jumbos is second in the conference.
Tufts (27-1) will host an NCAA Regional at Cousens Gymnasium this weekend (Nov. 15-17).