Tufts claims victory against Roger Williams before NESCAC opener

Tufts junior outside hitter Mary Maccabee hits the ball past two Springfield College blockers on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Evan Sayles / The Tufts Daily

Tufts moved to a 3-2 record after its road win at Roger Williams on Wednesday. The victory saw strong performances from several Tufts players. Senior Maddie Kuppe recorded 13 kills, while first-year Angela Yu led the Jumbos in both assists (20) and digs (13).

Other impressive performers included sophomore McKenzie Humann, who notched five kills with just one error in nine attempts, and first-year MacKenzie Bright, who tallied five kills and one error in 13 attempts.

The first set was a scary one for the Jumbos, as they battled neck and neck against the Hawks, with neither team leading by more than two points throughout the entire set until sophomore Anique Barch finished off the Hawks 25-23.

The second game went the Jumbos’ way from the start, as the team pulled out to an early 7-1 lead that it carried all the way to a 25-18 victory.

Much like the first game, the third set was a close one. This time, however, Tufts came out on top when sophomore Alex Garrett scored a kill to make it match point, which the team converted on its first attempt to close out the game 27-25.

“One of my favorite things about this team is that it has so much heart,” Nulan said. “We all love to play and compete, so practices and games are always fun because we always give everything we’ve got and never want to give up.”

The previous weekend saw Tufts compete in the Beacon Invitational with losses to unranked St. Benedict and No. 3 Christopher Newport, but a win over No. 12 Eastern. 

“Everyone worked very hard,” senior co-captain Carolina Berger said. “I was particularly impressed with our rookies, as they stepped onto the court with complete confidence, even though it was their first collegiate game.”

This past weekend was a busy one for the women’s volleyball team, as the team three matches over two days, including a double-header on Sept. 12. The day before, the Jumbos had upset No. 12 UMass Boston 3-1, but dropped both in the double-header on Sept. 12, unable to capture a set against both Christopher Newport and St. Benedict. 

The invitational allowed the Jumbos to continue to work toward their season-long goals.

“One of our big goals for this season is constant improvement,” senior co-captain Esme Nulan said. “This goal applies to both individuals and the team as a whole.”

The weekend was filled with strong performances from many of the Jumbos’ returning players, as well as from some of the newer team members.

Kuppe put up an impressive performance at the invitational, leading the Jumbos in kills across all three games — with 33 in total — while Berger was one of the defensive stars of the weekend with 51 digs in the three games.

“This weekend was a great opportunity for us to be challenged, to learn and to help us see where we can improve,” Nulan said. “We are meshing really well as a team and we are getting to play against really great teams that challenge us to work hard and [to] work smart.”

This week was certainly a testament to the Jumbos’ tenacity and heart as a team, as their victory against Roger Williams puts them at 3-2 for the season heading into the NESCAC opener today against Williams, which is currently ranked No. 2 in New England.

Although the Jumbos come into today’s game ranked fourth in New England, their goal remains to constantly improve in search of the playoffs and potentially the NESCAC championship.

“I hope that we can play to our full potential and enjoy every moment of this season,” Berger said. “If we do those two things, success will come.”