Volleyball Picks Up 3-0 NCAA Regional First Round Win Over Eastern Nazarene

MEDFORD – Sophomore Cate Desler finished with 12 kills and 13 digs and the Tufts volleyball team picked up a 3-0 win over Eastern Nazarene in the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Regional Tournament held in Cousens Gym on Friday night. 

Rookie Jenelle Yarwood turned in nine kills in her first NCAA match

The win helps the Jumbos improve to 28-1 overall.  They advance to take on Bowdoin, who beat Endicott in three sets earlier on Friday, in NCAA Regional Second Round play on Saturday at 5 pm.  Eastern Nazarene sees their season come to an end with a 17-7 record. 

The two teams traded points to open up the first set and with a 5-4 lead the Jumbos scored five points off the serve of sophomore Ariel Zedric to take a 10-4 lead. After a Lion point the Jumbos got a kill from Desler and then two from freshman Jenelle Yarwood to take a 13-5 lead. The Jumbos won the first set 25-14. 

The Jumbos jumped out to an early lead in the second set as well.  With a 5-2 lead they scored five points off the serve of Zedric again to take a 10-2 lead.  They were able to grow that lead to ten when they got behind the serve of Yarwood and scored five more to take a 19-9 lead. Tufts took a two-set lead in the match with a 25-17 win in set two.

The Jumbos scored the first 11 points of the third set.  That lead would be too much for the Lions to overcome and the Jumbos closed out the match win with a 25-9 win in the third set. 

Desler's 12 kills led the Jumbo offense and she also turned in 13 digs.  Freshman Jenelle Yarwood added nine kills and seven digs. Senior Christina Nwankpa finished with eight kills and three blocks.  Classmate Maddie Stewart added six kills and three blocks.  Senior Heather Holz finished with three blocks along with a couple of kills, and junior Jennifer Ryan also added three blocks and three kills.  Desler's 13 digs led the defensive efforts, but freshman Stephanie Lee helped with eight and Yarwood turned in seven.  Senior Rachel Furash and Zedric ran the offense, and Furash finished with 20 assists while Zedric collected 13.  

Ruth Aguilar was the offensive leader for the Lions with nine kills, and she added eight digs.  Courtney McCarthy finished with seven kills and four digs and Halle Julian tallied four kills.  Behind Aguilar's eight digs, Jessica Caldwell and McCarthy each added four digs.  Caldwell finished with seven assists, Caldwell five and Aguilar five. 

In other NCAA Regional action in Cousens on Friday Johnson and Wales, Babson and Bowdoin all won.  Johnson and Wales and Babson face off at 2:30 pm on Saturday with the Jumbos taking on Bowdoin at 5 pm.  Saturday's winners play on Sunday at 1 pm.


Watch the Team Press Conference Following the victory ...